Azurite on Goethite stalactites with Malachite
Khanong open pit, Sepon Mine, Vilabouly, Savannakhet, Laos
Cabinet, 13.3 x 11.1 x 6.6 cm

On some of our travels in Southern China, sourcing minerals, we stumbled into Chinese sources that were walking gorgeous azurite across the border from Laos, and were able to buy some wonderful and unusual specimens in around 2015-2020. These azurites, in particular, spanned a wide array of styles and colors, indicating a huge mining operation - which it is! They ended up being sold as decor to Chinese stores for the home, and pieces such as this, we found generally already embedded in wood bases to make stone-and-wood sculptures for home decor and philosophical thinking. In China, these were being sold more as decor, than as mineral specimens, in those shops! This was a particularly unusual piece with curving azurite growths...that on closer look turn out to be azurite coatings on stalactites of goethite. Most of the tips are open, presumably how it was found, as if the tips popped off or never fully formed. Inside, you can see the circular radial goethite pattern and no azurite beyond the surface skin. The matrix is a layered sedimentary rock that looks like hard brown sandstone infused with copper mineralization of several colors, including malachite and possibly rosasite as well. Overall, it is a highly unusual sculptural, seemingly unique piece and we never saw another like it.