Atacamite in Gypsum
Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica, Peru
Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 5.7 x 3.1 cm
$8,000.00 Payment Plan Available
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From a rare find of some of the best atacamite crystals in the modern world, back in the late 1990s into the early 2000s, this is a rather large example of the famous atacamite inside selenite specimens that appeared, briefly, at that time. Most such crystals were either small or damaged, or both. This is a huge specimen compared to what came out, with robust and large crystals to 5 cm (2 inches). The combination of species, with the deep green copper mineral INSIDE the gemmy and window-clear gypsum crystals, gives us one of the most unique contrasts in mineral combinations. These have remained classics, but few exist on the market and almost nothing of this size came out of the tight pockets here. On mindat, we found a succinct comment about the sparsely producing nature of this mine: Roughly 200 km south of Lima, 40 km east of Pisco. Producer of "blue andean opal" since about 1993. Ten tons mined every 2 or 3 months (as of 2003), with only 1 to 2 kg of that being gem quality; the rest is used for carvings in Peru and China. In 1998 produced an abundant find of beautiful transparent gypsum crystals with atacamite inclusions, at first wrongly marketed as "brochantite inclusions in gypsum". Interestingly enough, we have been there (Rob has), climbing around the now completely empty tunnels where these were mined. Every now and then, you could see a hint of tiny crystals in the wall, but the pockets were cleaned out and nothing great has been found since, of the combination. Believe me, we looked for more. It simply is not there.

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