Hureaulite on Reddingite
Cigana Mine (Jocao Mine), Galileia, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Miniature, 5.9 x 4.9 x 3.9 cm
This pegmatite is known for its suite of high-quality phosphate species, more than for gem crystals. It is very similar, in fact, to the famous Tip Top Mine in South Dakota for the major phosphate species found. However, hureaulite from this locality has a more beautiful, intense rich color and luster, and is arranged in such pretty aggregates against contrasting lustrous brown reddingite, that I consider these to be among the more beautiful examples of the species. Usually you find the hureaulite dispersed as a flat carpet of small 2-5 mm crystals on matrix shards. Few specimens have relief and well-defined aesthetics: but this piece has a sharp, superb cluster approximately 3 cm tall perched atop the specimen. It is 3-dimensional and leaps out. It is good enough for the "display collector" who doesn't care about the rarity, and its at the same time good enough for the rare species collector who wants display-quality examples when possible. I have seen and handled many specimens from the sporadic finds here that seem to have started to crop to the market in the mid-90s, and of them this is by far one of the best- and the prettiest, certainly, for my taste in aesthetics.