Miniature, 4.1 x 2.6 x 2.1 cm
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia
Fine dioptase specimens like this are one of the holy grail desires for collectors. It is a SUPERB miniature! This fine matrix dioptase specimen is highlighted by a shockingly freestanding, complete-all-around, large 1.5 cm crystal. The crystal is fat, too, and very equant. The crystal is glassy and gemmy with a dark, emerald green color, that glows when backlit. A fine dioptase miniature that would be very hard to beat. Put it this way, the original label from the Zweibels, who were known for being pretty reasonable on prices from Tsumeb as they bought at the source in its heyday, was $1950. That was a TON of money 20 years ago for a dioptase miniature! Their original label here notes they got it from the collection of Dr. John Innes, Tsumeb mine geologist in the 1970s. He sold it to Julius and Miriam Zweibel, who then sold it to Stuart Strife of Houston who has kept it all these years. The back of thelabel seems to be written in Innes'hand, "East 19th stope, 30th level." Innes was known to have self-colected (at night?) many of the specimens in his collection, which the Zweibels dispersed quickly. Bottom line, you canot find many dioptase miniatures of such class as this one, pedigree aside.