Ettringite on Oyelite
N'Chwaning Mines, Kalahari Fields, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 3.2 x 2.4 cm
This ethereal nicely-sized specimen features a 6-cm-long, doubly-terminated ettringite crystal perched on a small knoll of soft white matrix. The crystal is a soft lemon-yellow color, translucent, and complete all around except for a small, shallow natural contact in the upper-right on one face. It is stark and dramatic, as it rises from the well-trimmed matrix! It has an unusual shimmering surface sheen to it, as do most of these. It is very rare to find large ettringites on matrix, particularly with such good display, from past finds (mostly in the 1980s). The matrix is a manganese-rich ore completely covered with a blanket of soft Oyelite (perhaps with Bultfonteinite) deposition on its front side. It is accented on the backside with sparkling micro-hausmannite crystals.