Malachite & pyromorphite, Batchelor, NT, Australia
description: 4" ac. Ex Gerry Pauley collection. It was mined during the late 1970's. Gerry Pauley mined specimens at Brown's Deposit and kept this piece in his collection until 1994 and it has been part of my collection ever since. I have seen thousands of lesser pieces and have seen none which are of higher esthetics or general quality. This piece is above thousands of lesser malachite specimens from Brown's deposit for the following reasons: (a) High three dimensional relief between the peaks and troughs of the malachite. (b) The surface of the malachite is glistening and appears to be "as soft as felt" and unbruised. Malachite is a soft mineral and the surface of this piece glistens as millions of microcrystals on its surface reflect any light. Hence, if this piece is mishandled, its surface can be scratched beyond repair. Since this specimen has been taken care of since it was mined, the surface of the malachite is pristine. (c) The specimen is clean. Most specimens from this locality are not. (d) All of the specimen is something which is a joy to admire since it does not have any ugly and detracting "amorphous looking" malachite attached to it. (e) The malachite is complimented by a "beach" of golden yellow, crystalline pyromorphite. The combination of these two species makes this piece "as pretty as a picture." Malachite and pyromorphite only come together as attractive macroscopic specimens at Rum Jungle and in view of this, in my view it is one of the most under-rated localities in the world of mineral collecting. The combination is also one of the most under-rated mineral combinations. (f) Although I have seen a small number of larger specimens from Rum Jungle, they all lacked the general esthetics of this piece. It is still 4" across and is hence a size that would allow it to "fit" into most top level collections anywhere in the world. (g) The provenance adds interest to this piece. A reflection of the quality of this piece is the fact two well known Australian collectors who understand the minerals of this locality both kept it in their collections for at least 15 years. It is with interest that this piece is generally superior in terms of its general esthetics and quality than malachite, pyromorphite and cerussite combination specimens from Rum Jungle in the display collections of The Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, The South Australian Museum in Adelaide and The Australian Museum in Sydney. A small mining lease controlled by Hunan Metals Corporation produced a few hundred malachite with pyromorphite combination specimens during the dry seasons of 2010 and 2012. This locality is very close to Brown's Deposit. The more recently mined pieces were excavated by Paul Melville of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia and I bought as many of them as I could afford from him at the Bathurst Gemboree in 2011. Some of them are illustrated in the "Australian Album" and the "Northern Territory Album" on this website. Although they are very beautiful, I still want to acquire one which is better than the piece illustrated therein. :)
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