New Africa Update 02 March 2021

2 March 2021

This week we jump continents to Africa and have a wide variety of mainly miniature and thumbnail specimens, representing numerous species and countries. African minerals are often brightly coloured and this is certainly reflected in today’s selection of twenty-one specimens. Many classic localities are included, as well as a smattering of some less well-known mines. And likewise, species range from the greatly familiar to the rare and unusual. Read on and we will set out a few highlights and fascinating items for you to ponder and enjoy.

Let’s start with some classics, and a modern classic to boot. Sky blue Celestine from Sakoany in Madagascar was first discovered in 1967, immediately establishing itself as an iconic location for the species. The small cabinet specimen we offer is composed of deep sky-blue crystals up 3 cm across the diagonal and with a few small areas of pale sage green Celestine.

From Morocco, look at the thumbnail cluster of blocky hexagonal Vanadinite crystals of deep cherry-red, with a preferential surface alteration to light milk chocolate-brown Vanadinite.

Klein Spitzkopje is a spectacular isolated granite stock towering above the flat plains of the Erongo Region in Namibia and is famous for its richly mineralised miarolitic cavities. From here we have a great small miniature Topaz with a chisel edge termination and of colourless gemmy clarity.

Rarer species include Olmiite and Thaumasite from the N'Chwaning mines in South Africa; Ettringite from Wessels Mine, also South Africa, and Kipushite on Pseudomalachite from the Kipushi mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One specimen I feel obliged to mention is a beautiful Libethenite from the M'sesa mine in the famous Haut-Katanga Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Libethenite is always an attractive species and this gorgeous example has translucent to opaque, dark bottle-green crystals with a bright and glassy lustre, measuring up to 9 mm, richly lining a shallow, open vug.

Look also at some stunning limey-emerald green Chromium-dravite Tourmalines from Nadonjukin in Tanzania and two quite lovely Amethyst Quartz sceptres from Zimbabwe.

Hey, we can’t really talk about African minerals without a mention of Tsumeb. From this much-loved locality, take a look at the charming thumbnail acidic lemon-yellow Wulfenite with inclusions of crisp, apple green Duftite. A mouth-watering Tsumeb morsel if ever I saw one!

So, there you have it, from across the length and breadth of this great continent, wonderful minerals to add colour and interest to any collection. Enjoy delving further into today’s miscellany and hopefully spot that irresistible, must-have specimen!


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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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