Shigaite, Rhodochrosite
Cabinet, 10.0 x 7.8 x 6.0 cm
N'Chwaning Mine, Kalahari, South Africa
Ex. F. John Barlow
This specimen has dark red crystals of the rare manganese species shigaite, ensconced on attractive, sparkling manganite blades and accented by rhodochrosite. It is from a small 1993 pocket and is said to be one of the best of that pocket. It was sold to John Barlow soon after by Charlie Key. An important specimen, this piece at one time was considered one of the world's great specimens for the species and resided in a pre-eminent collection of such rarities (John Barlow's). It still is significant, though others have been found recently of a different style. The new ones are more gracile and fragile-looking but have a metallic luster and brighter color, whereas these crystals are more robust and dark. Also this matrix association is unique to the 1993 pocket which really did redefine the species in terms of quality. Illustrated in the F John Barlow Collection book, in his chapter on South Africa.