New Africa Update 05 March 2021

5 March 2021

Many mineral collectors have a selection of specimens from Africa, be this a themed suite such as Tsumeb, Morocco, Berg Aukas or the central copper mines, or a miscellany of aesthetics from all over this great continent. One common trait of African minerals is they tend to be colourful, and certainly bring that added sparkle and je ne sais quoi to a collection. The specimens we offer today certainly include many of wonderful crystal forms and colours. So, even if you don’t collect from Africa, we feel sure you will enjoy seeing some spectacular items, reading a bit about their fascinating localities and maybe even consider thinking of starting a new African sub-collection, it’s never too late to start!

Let’s begin our overview to the north in Morocco. We have four fabulous pieces; two museum grade Vanadinites, a magnificent Skutterudite and a Malachite pseudomorph after Azurite with a licence to thrill! One of the Vanadinites has hexagonal crystals of deep cherry-red with zones of strawberry, claret and vermilion, spectacularly displayed over a stalactite of sooty-grey-black Goethite. The Skutterudite is from Aghbar mine and forms trapezohedral crystals to 1.4 cm throughout a large bed of snow-white Calcite. And if you are a James Bond fan, do not fail to take a look at the amazing Malachite after Azurite. If anyone can find me a specimen more resembling a Walther PPK than this, well…!!!

Dioptase always pleases and this beautiful group of emerald-green crystals covering crystalised Quartz from Mindouli in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) has the bonus of being dusted with sky blue micro Plancheite sprays. Fans of the Berg Aukas mine in Namibia will enjoy a miniature Descloizite covered in choice white Calcite crystals and a lustrous prismatic group of golden-tan Smithsonite crystals. While in Namibia, the Schorl Tourmaline from Davib Ost Farm 61 in the Erongo Region has to be seen, if only for its quality, structure, size and wonderful aesthetic.

Our last teaser involves a large hop over to Madagascar, the island which split away from India around 88 million years ago. One of Madagascar’s most famous minerals is Celestine, and we have a superb specimen containing a fabulous 4.5 x 4.5 x 3.5 cm deep cornflower-blue single crystal which verges on gemmy from Sakoany. Then finally, across to the intertidal mangrove swamps and the Antetezambato mine from where Demantoid crystals are found, the green variety of Andradite Garnet. This specimen is beautiful, rich in good sized Demantoid crystals varying between pistachio green, yellow-lime green and golden-yellow.

From just what is mentioned here you can sense the wide variety of beautiful and fascinating specimens, with even more to explore if you dig a little deeper. As we still cannot attend field trips due to Covid restrictions, the best alternative is to take a virtual tour with the guaranteed outcome of seeing, and perhaps buying some fabulous minerals. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Here is what you have to look forward to in next week's updates:

Tuesday 9th March and Friday 12th March - Eastern Europe


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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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