Cuprite on Chrysocolla
Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi mining dist., Lualaba, DR Congo
Small Cabinet, 6.1 x 6.0 x 3.1 cm
$17,500.00 Payment Plan Available
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This attractive specimen features a pair of rather large Cuprite crystals nestled firmly in a Chrysocolla matrix from the Mashamba West Mine in the DRC, placing the piece in the rare category of truly significantly sized crystals from this locality. The big octahedral Cuprites are a dark purple-red with a metallic luster; and really large and complete. Also, some of the faces show complex geometric growth features for added interest. The octahedral forms are very sharp and importantly, so are the edges. They are set in matrix of bluish green Chrysocolla for great contrast. Several smaller Cuprite crystals are evident in the Chrysocolla matrix at the lower left of the piece. The color contrast is striking, particularly when the Cuprite crystals are backlit to show their rich, merlot-red color. These are getting more rare by the year due to changes in production mining patterns at the locality. Only a very few are ever found in good shape, and intact crystals of this size are found really only a few times per decade, if that. Several well-known older specimens of the material with crystals of this size have transacted over $50,000, when they came out in the past. That is because these are not merely representative, but significant as among best of species worldwide. Similarly large crystals have come from Emke Mine in Namibia, but those are rougher, less lustrous, and all had formed with a coating of malachite that was removed. These are much rarer, natural pocket crystals without a coating or deformity, and hence more valuable than those from other localities when in such size and shape as we see here.