New Africa Update 14 September 2021

14 September 2021

IN this week’s updates we are focusing on just two continents and today is Africa. Africa is the second largest continent with an area of over 30.3 million sq. km (11.7 million sq. miles) and whose surface area accounts for 20% of the Earth’s land mass. It is a mineral-rich continent and we will all have our favourite localities from Morocco in the far north to the distant southern reaches of South Africa, some 8,150 km (5,063 miles).

The African continent is built from five ancient Precambrian cratons dating from between 3.6 and 2 billion years ago, which have remained tectonically stable ever since. These are bounded by younger geological formations, primarily of sedimentary and volcanic origin. This enormous timescale has provided plenty of opportunity for the emplacement and evolution of ore deposits, be these tiny or of major economic importance.

Today’s selection includes specimens from the DR Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania. And, taking Namibia for example, although nine of today’s are from here, only one is from Tsumeb, leaving plenty of scope for the many other fabulous localities this country has to offer. We even have two very different miniature Descloizites from Berg Aukas, must haves for the dedicated collector! There are lots of super items, so let’s get cracking!

One which has really caught my eye is a Calcite with Malachite from Mashamba West mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Two dominant scalenohedral Calcite crystals measuring to 8 and 7 cm tall and tinted delicate pink, rise from a crystallized botryoidal aggregate of deep rich green Malachite with a sparkling crystallised velvety surface. This makes a stunning cabinet specimen, believe you me!

From the Iouriren mine in Tiznit Province, Morocco, we have a gorgeous cabinet specimen of Siderite with Quartz displaying a branch-like formation of stacked parallel rhombic Siderite crystals to 2.7 cm. The light tan crystals have excellent well-formed lustrous faces and are slightly translucent. Just for good measure, a gemmy-translucent Faden crystal of colourless-white Quartz forms a prominent feature angled across the Siderite! Also, from Morocco, do look at the beautiful Endlichite, an arsenate enriched variety of Vanadinite. This very lustrous, almost metallic looking specimen comprises of intergrown curved barrel-shaped crystals of light silvery-olive green Endlichite measuring to over 1 cm with a highly lustrous display surface. Then from the Mibladen Mining District, a wonderful Cerussite with smoky-grey crystals to over 2 cm richly covering a matrix of massive Galena.

What about the Descloizites I hear the Berg Aukas connoisseurs crying! Berg Aukas mine is only 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Tsumeb and is world famous for its seemingly infinite variety of habits, colours and mineral associations of Descloizite. Both of today’s miniature specimens are totally different. One displays serrated arrow habit Descloizite crystals to about 1 cm forming stacked pagoda-like columns splayed slightly outwards to form a beautifully crystallised open cluster. From one side the crystals are metallic black with a dazzling lustre whereas their opposite sides are encrusted with a preferential coating of salmon pink micro-crystalline Dolomite. The second specimen forms a dendritic intergrown network of tapering prismatic Descloizite crystals measuring to 2.5 cm tall, each terminated by a flat pinacoid. The Descloizite is a rich brown overladen by coatings of pastel tan, grey, grey-green and ochre-yellow.

Other specimens which must be mentioned include a Vanadinite on Goethite from Taouz in Morocco; a beautifully crystallised Native Copper from Ogonja in the Windhoek District of Namibia; an amazing Aegirine to 10.5 cm with Orthoclase from Mount Malosa in Malawi and a bundle of rich deep purple-cerise to blackish purple Erythrite crystals to 3.9 cm from Bou Azzer, Morocco.

If it is gem minerals that interest you, then check out the fine double terminated crystal of reddish-plum Liddicoatite Tourmaline from Fianarantsoa Province in southeast Madagascar. We also offer a lovely miniature colourless yet distinctly green-tinged Topaz from Kleine Spitzkoppe in the Erongo Region of Namibia and highly lustrous, rich deep leaf green crystals of Andradite Garnet from a find made on Springbokfontein Farm 21 at Karibab, also in the Erongo Region.

Our final mention must go to one of today’s lower priced specimens, a thing of great beauty and wonder! Schorl Tourmaline is elevated to new levels with this fabulous jet-black crystal from Tubussis Farm 22 in the Karibib District of Namibia, where mineralisation occurs in miarolitic cavities within the Erongo granite. This single Schorl crystal exhibits complex composite terminations, built from myriads of much smaller Schorl crystals which combine to form a Mercedes-triangular habit. All terminations are perfect and highly lustrous, forming a delightful and fascinating specimen.

Africa never fails to delight mineralogically and produces a constant stream of new material ranging from the highly aesthetic to the rarest of species. Looking across today’s 21 specimens, their diversity in size, colour, habit and species provides a lovely selection, from which we hope you will spot a gap filler in your collection or simply just an impromptu treat to satisfy pure indulgence! Enjoy the selection and good hunting! PT

                                         

If you'd like to see a video of any of the specimens listed above then please contact us at orders@crystalclassics.co.uk and we'll be happy to assist you. We endeavour to respond to all enquires within 24 hours during weekdays, however at the weekend it might take us a little longer to respond.

 

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Crystal Classics, and our sister company UK Mining Ventures, will be in attendance at the following shows for the remainder of 2021:

SEPTEMBER 10-18
Colorado Mineral and Fossil Fall Show 2021
Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center 15500 E 40th Ave, Denver, CO 80239, USA

SEPTEMBER 16-19
Hardrock Summit 2021 - Evolution
Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202, USA

OCTOBER 9-10
The Bakewell Rock Exchange 2021
Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1JA, UK

OCTOBER 22-24
The Munich Show 2021
Exhibition Center Messe München, WEST Entrance, Munich, Germany

NOVEMBER 20
The Sussex Mineral & Fossil Show 2021
Haywards Heath College, Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1LT, UK

NOVEMBER 27
Crystal Classics Winter Open Day 2021
No.1, The Old Coach Yard, East Coker, Somerset BA22 9HY, UK

 

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MINERAL WISH LIST

We also offer an additional service that enables you, as our customer, to contact us via orders@crystalclassics.co.uk with your mineral wish list to enhance your current collection, but are unable to find the right specimens on our website. We have 1000's of specimens in our general stock that do not appear online.

Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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