Wessels Mine, Kalahari manganese fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 5.1 x 3.4 cm
Ex. Desmond Sacco
TYPE LOCALITY. This mineral was discovered in the 1980s but only recognized later as a new species, and then named in 1992. Specimens were always extremely rare and hard to obtain. In fact, a good example was considered a hallmark and a token of any "sophisticated" Kalahari collection and they were traded like gold. This one, from the noted collection of Desmond Sacco, should be regarded as an important (and large) specimen of some rarity. It was worth perhaps much more back in the day before a few years ago when "Poldervaartite gold" was struck at the nearby NChwaning Mine. Then, these "old style" polders were reduced in value and desirability... However, as luck has it, all of the "new" poldervaartite turned out to actually be a related but different and new species now called Olmiite, thus re-enthroning these older specimens on their throne of rarity. Literally, these genuine older examples of the species are among the ultimate rarities to collectors of Kalahari material; and no more has been found since the original discovery, apparently! I am told that, probably (according to Charlie Key), such specimens are co-type with the material used to describe the species, all from the same pocket. This is the LARGEST and showiest, least ugly (in a relative sense) specimen of the species I have ever seen for sale. It is actually attractive - very sugary and sparkly; and splayed in its presentation. We value it highly, yes, but it blows away any other I have seen on the market, and it comes from the ultimate pedigree in Kalahari collections, through a recent deaccession to me of some thumbnails and rarities from the Sacco collection.