Smithsonite on tennantite, Tsumeb, Namibia
description: T 4" ac. This is the only example of its type that I have ever seen despite my search for fine Tsumeb mineral specimens which has even included nine visits to South Africa and three visits to Namibia between late 1997 and early 2010. The piece consist of relatively sharp tetrahedal tennantite crystals encrusted with pale pink, drusy, "ball shaped" cobaltian smithsonite crystals. Few tennantite specimens were collected at Tsumeb and most preserved examples of this species were either smaller, damaged, massive, almost completely lacking in eye visible crystals or displayed composition that did not allow appreciation of the textbook tennantite crystal morphologhy (i.e. the tetrahedron; it is a four sided pyramid). Since tennantite is a relatively ugly black mineral that is beyond the appreciation of most collectors, my piece is even more desirable than "the others" because the general esthetics of my pieces could only have been improved by the presence off the pink smithsonite. In view of the considerations discussed therein, this piece is indeed a mineralogical oddity. I was fortuneate to trade it from Marshall Sussman when I visited his home in Tucson, Arizona during late 2012.
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