Amelia Mine, Boleo Dist., Mulegé Mun., Baja California Sur, Mexico
Thumbnail, 1.7 x 1.6 x 1.2 cm
Ex. Dr. Alex Schauss
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This is a rare, competition quality example of the rare copper-containing mineral paratacamite: a 1.7 x 1.6 x 1.2 cm ball consisting of numerous intergrown crystals. Alex has provided history about it and confirmed this is a specimen collected in the late 1970s when it was mined by Pala Properties (Ed Swoboda with Bill Larson). They found a lot of boleite but almost no other minerals, and any large examples of this - and it is large for the locale - were quite rare and seldom seen since. Discussed in The Mineralogical Record's Boleo special issue in Swoboda’s article. Paratacamite is not quite a polymorph of atacamite since a small impurity of zinc (or other metals) is necessary to stabilize its rhombohedral symmetry (Braithwaite et al, 2004). Bottom line, we have a superb example of a species that is both Sparkly and rare!