Kolwezi mining district, Lualaba, DR Congo
Cabinet, 15.5 x 9.4 x 6.4 cm
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This is a sculptural and very unique Malachite specimen from the famous Kolwezi copper belt mines. I was told it was the Mashamba West Mine, but that was an educated guess and it could possibly be from the Star of the Congo Mine, also working heavily the last few years. The area has produced a diversity of artistic Malachite specimens over the years. This piece exhibits two texturally distinct types of Malachite, one consists of a grouping of stalactitic "fingers" juxtaposed to a larger, mounded section composed of polygonal outlined botryoids. Both portions are bright green with only a trace of tiny surface rubs, and all but two of the "fingers" are barely incomplete. The numerous stalactitic fingers are sinuous and and either in parallel growth or are somewhat anastomosing. The fingers are an aggregate 12 cm in length and the polygonal botryoidal section is about 15.5 cm long. Both rise like some sort of mounded life form that took on two distinct shapes. Note the beautiful sparkly surface luster, as well. This is not your usual malachite plate or single stalactite; it's very different and very attractive!