Andradite Garnet Pseudo. Rhodochrosite With Gaudefroyite
Wessels Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa
Miniature, 5.5 x 5.3 x 1.7 cm
We had only two such specimens in the whole collection of thousands of pieces, of these strange cast pseudomorphs of minutely crystallized, sparkling, andradite garnet that have replaced twinned rhodochrosite crystals. I had only ever seen 2 others, before. These look just like the famous pseudo-triangular crystals one saw from Mt St Hilaire in Quebec, in the 1980s. But, made of garnet! This one is shaped like a 3-dimensional map where there are folds up and down to illustrate heights. It is very aesthetic, and more impressive in person! It is complete all around and made up of garnet on the front display, with the backside completely lined with crystals of gaudefroyite and a few minor ettringites. There is a coating on the backside, but the gaude's sticking out to the sides are, luckily, clean and lustrous, and serve to nicely accent the flanks of the rhodo crystals.