Dioptase, Katanga, Democratic Congo Republic
description: I traded this fine piece from Stuart Wilensky in mid 1998. In this era, few mineral collectors or dealers sold or bartered mineral specimens via the internet. Stuart and I used to send each other VHS Video cassettes of the mineral specimens that we offered for sale (or barter). This is how I acquired this piece. In the late 1990's, high quality dioptase specimens from Katanga were also less common than what they are today. The peak of Katanga dioptase production was probably in 2000 to 2001. During this era, the Goban brothers traveled to Katanga from France around six times per year to buy mineral specimens. In more recent history, Katanga mines that were previously government operated have been privatized. As a result, mineral specimen production is way down compared to around the turn of the century because private mining companies are more profit motivated and are more likely to prohibit mineral collecting on properties that they control. I sold this fine specimen to Patrick Ryan of Phoenix, Arizona at the Tucson show of 1999. Although I own finer quality Katanga dioptase specimens, I would like to reacquire this fine piece. This history and the fact that it has appeared in the popular mineralogical literature are other aspects of this piece that appeal to me.
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