Azurite with Malachite
Shilu Mine, Yangchun Co., Yangjiang, Guangdong, China
Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 6.8 x 3.3 cm
Ex. Dr. Stephen Smale
$3,500.00 Payment Plan Available
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Chinese azurite from older finds at Shilu in the 1980s first came out to the USA in the 1990s in any quantity (although a few came out earlier as trades from the Beijing Museum after a Tucson show in the late 1980s). However, even as they started coming out, Steve Smale was already ahead of the rest of us and buying in mainland China from his base of operations as a maths professor at the University of Hong Kong. Sad as it is to admit, Steve bested many of us dealers in the early years of Chinese mineral export and acquired so many beautiful specimens directly while he was over there. He aimed for quality and unique pieces. Most of these "roses" of azurites were just that, single flaring radial clusters. This piece is a cluster of clusters, with top luster and top sharpness to the crystals (others are often rounded). It is complete all around and without damage save only a few dings. He obtained this in the early 1990s and kept it until trading it to me some time ago. His original label card notes: "one of my favorites from all I got in China - SS". I have seen hundreds, perhaps a thousand of such specimens from China. This one is special, always has been, to Steve (who knew first and above all of us) and to me.