Smithsonite var. Cadmian stalactites
Cabinet, 9.8 x 6.7 x 4.3 cm
Wenshan, Yunnan Province, China

Cadmium-rich, bright yellow smithsonite from this region has really set a new standard for what is available for a large cadmian smithsonite in the world. It turns out that most of this material which came to market was actually found over a decade ago and stashed, and renewed mining at this location began again only recently. We have been following this "new/old" find for years now, and were startled to see just a few small pockets of stalactites come out recently that were unlike any seen previously. Most of them were small nubs, which you could barely call an elongated stalactite, but then there was this remarkable specimen, which was the only good piece in a basketball-sized rock matrix hosting a squished, narrow, nearly football-sized pocket. This piece was tucked away in a back corner, and miraculously survived coming out of the ground intact! After trimming, we were able to recover this single fine specimen. With stalactites reaching up nearly 8 cm from the rolling matrix, this is simply a unique specimen in our experience. Out of perhaps 1000 pieces, we have not seen another like it. The stalactites are nearly complete all around, 360, except for a touch contact on the top-rear of the rightmost where it grew against the top of the pocket, and a side contact on the left side stalactite (again, where it grew against the pocket wall). This is a dramatic, beautiful smithsonite; and more importantly a unique Chinese mineral specimen.

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