Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 7.0 x 4.5 cm
Tantara Valley, Kimpese, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

A large plate of dazzling green crystals of dioptase, certainly one of the top favorites of worldwide collectors, from Congo. It is a good thing there is a trickle of specimens still coming from Congo, because Tsumeb dioptase has become incredibly expensive, partly due to that Tsumeb "aura." A specimen such as this from Tsumeb, of comparable quality, would cost roughly twice the price, even though a lot more Tsumeb dioptase has come out than has ever come from Congo, so it is certainly not about rarity. The crystals here measure to around 0.5 cm and are highly lustrous. In this price and size range combination, you get a LOT MORE for your money from this contemporary locality than if you purchased a Tsumeb piece, where you pay for the premium of a historic locality. The matrix has a pleasing concave structure to it, so the specimen is nicely 3-dimensional rather than being a flat plate.