Dioptase on Calcite, with Calcite
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 5.3 x 4.8 cm
Ex. William Boyce Thompson

A really surprising dioptase specimen confronts us here with both significant aesthetics and significant history. With crystals to over 2cm perched on sparkling calcite matrix, set against another generation of calcite growth, the piece is simply stunning on its own merit. No question about that. However, the labels tell a further story that make this among the oldest DOCUMENTED Tsumeb dioptase specimens of quality, that we have seen. The trail runs from William Boyce Thompson, founder of Newmont Mining (1869-1930), to AMNH (American Museum in NYC), to collector Bob Lambert, who sold his collection to several dealers in the early 2000s. The label of Thompson is still clearly visible on the bottom, T-88/2, in the museum's characteristic red ink used in the early 1900s. The dioptase is magnificent for the stark isolation against sparkling background, but the history is just as amazing. Shockingly, the main crystal is pristine. This is a significant specimen as most people think the only good dioptase was not found until 1984; and it is true that was the only large find, but dioptase had, rarely, been reported back in the early 1900s as well..