Aurichalcite on Smithsonite
Yanga Koubenza Quarries, M'Fouti, Bouenza Dept., Republic of the Congo
Cabinet, 12.8 x 7.6 x 2.7 cm

Specimens of aurichalcite and smithsonite combinations are historically rare, found only at the Kelly Mine in New Mexico in any real quality, and a few isolated pockets in Laurium as well if we recall. However, this material was found in the summer of 2021 at Yanga Koubenza, now a location we have to rank among the world's great smithsonite locations. This piece looks like nothing so much as some kind of abstract modern art with patterns and surfaces that are mesmerizing in detail as you look closely, as the two species contrast to one another in texture and luster. This very unique cabinet specimen of smithsonite and aurichalcite is one of the most interesting examples from the lot. Lustrous botryoids of ‘Kelly blue’ smithsonite both partially and fully coat smaller botryoidal chalky aurichalcite on this specimen, with additional botryoidal white to pale blue aurichalcite growing on top of the smithsonite layer in areas – both in clusters and in oddly flat sections. A fascinating specimen that gets more interesting the closer you look at it!