Tonglushan Mine, Daye Co., Huangshi, Hubei Province, China
Miniature, 3.5 x 2.8 x 2.6 cm

This handsome, blue-purple chalcopyrite ball specimen has the stunning form characteristic of this small series of pockets from late 2018 through March 2019, and which really caused a lot of talk in the mineral community because they are so unusual. There is one, large, dominant, 2.3 cm in diameter orb upon which the smaller spheres are attached to directly and one small sphere that is stacked on a few of the smaller ones. The rich, dark blue, submetallic luster combined with the micro-chalcopyrite crystals that completely cover the orbs make them glisten and produces an alluring specimen! They look like beautiful, sparkling blueberries! Where the inner layer of the spheres are exposed an internal matte brown layer is present for added interest; the contrast between the sparkly and the matte is rather visually intriguing. This is an interesting miniature of this material. Read up on what we have so far on the scientific analysis of these at These are interesting enough that trying to figure out how they form might give us some new theories on metallics' formation at depth and pressure. While similar in many respects to "blister copper" from other localities, these are unique in their own ways and should be classics in the future.

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