- Sphalerite (twinned) on Calcite
- Small Cabinet, 8.4 x 4.8 x 4.3 cm
- Huanggang Mines, Hexigten Banner, Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China
Sphalerite is a common zinc sulfide and a significant ore of zinc, and we've all seen good specimens of it from various worldwide localities, but this piece is off the charts! This is an unprecedented gem Sphalerite twin perched upon bright white Calcite from a small 2020 find at the Huanggang Mine in China. There are actually two very lustrous, gem Sphalerite crystals sitting atop the white Calcite. The large, 2.8 cm gem twin eclipses the other slightly intergrown, 1.7 cm untwinned crystal. Both crystals are a transparent to translucent, yellow-green and both just pop with a little backlighting. The twin on the large crystal is of the contact type with a modest V-notch that's evident. The Calcite on this piece is a parallel growth grouping of large, bright white crystals that are just slightly etched, enough to show coincidental, triangular reflections in certain incident light angles almost resembling a schiller effect. At either side of the Sphalerite duet on the Calcite are 1 to 2 mm groupings of silvery white, lamellar groupings of what appear to be Lollingite for added interest. This is definitely competition level. Sphalerite is one of the few sulfide minerals that can exhibit translucent to gemmy interiors, some so gemmy that they can be cut into gemstones. Fine clusters on matrix such as this are quite uncommon. Simply beautiful! And, it seems, a unique find for China.