Manganoan Smithsonite
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Thumbnail, 2.2 x 1.7 x 1.6 cm
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These reddish-pink hued crystals of Manganoan Smithsonite are unique from Tsumeb, and this is a fine thumbnail example of this rare varietal. It is a single, relatively large rhomb situated on just a tiny plate of matrix that has several other, randomly oriented, 2 to 3 mm Manganoan Smithsonite crystals scattered about the base of the larger crystal. It has a shimmering look to the surface, characteristic of this material, though a little different from most cobaltoan pink smithsonites. In fact, this excellent thumbnail of this rare varietal is colored not by cobalt as most of the Tsumeb pink smithsonite crystals are, but these red-pink crystals are actually due to the substitution of manganese in the crystal. Tsumeb produced the best Manganoan Smithsonites in the world! Most of them came out in the early to mid 1980s from a few small pockets. Note that although pink, the shape and subtle texture and color give this away as a manganoan-colored smithsonite, to a trained eye. They are different, but often mistaken when one of these old treasures turns up on the market. A rare, competitive-level thumbnail for smithsonite.