- Red Prehnite with Xonotlite, Fluorapophyllite and Calcite
- N'Chwaning II Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari, Northern Cape, South Africa
- Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 5.7 x 4.4 cm
- Ex. Charlie Key
This is a very colorful and rare small cabinet piece from the N'Chwaning II manganese mine in South Africa. This piece consists of an attractive arrangement of spiky, vivid orange Prehnite spheres, snow-white Xonotlite balls and translucent Fluorapophyllite crystals. The scintillating Prehnite spheres are anywhere from 1 to 3.2 cm in maximum dimension and have an overall orange-red color and they are composed of a myriad of very slender, radiating crystals. They are adorned by 1.5 to 4 mm, glassy transparent Calcite crystals and some 3 mm to nearly 1 cm, translucent, off-white, blocky crystals of Fluorapophyllite. These are all overgrowing intergrown, radial divergent, white balls of Xonotlite to 6 mm that have a matte luster. On one side of the piece, up to 6 mm clusters of sparkly Calcite are perched directly on the Xonotlite. NOTE: These are not, but can be easily confused with, the similarly-colored Wessels Mine "Inesite" material collectors normally associate with Kalahari finds! These "red prehnites" really look like inesite, but were a special pocket and in person, you can see subtle distinctions. This is, instead, from a small, early 2000s find at the N'Chwaning ll that came out many years later after the older Wessels Mine inesites. The tiny, orange Prehnite crystals are a bonus: gemmy and orange-red in color , which is are quite rare for their color! Prehnite is rare in the Kalahari Kalahari Manganese Field. This is an excellent small cabinet combination specimen (and we handled a number of them from Charlie Key, back in the day, for context) that Charlie kept in his personal collection for decades before selling to Marshall Sussman and myself some years ago. This is from the personal collection of Charlie Key who was the top dealer in African minerals in our lifetimes. I obtained the Key collection in 2008 with Sussman, but Charlie held back this suite, his favorite species suite, until selling it to us around 2015. We have kept it in storage all these years.