Jouravskite & calcite
description: 1 1/4" tall LOCALITY: Kuruman, Northern Cape Province, South Africa (TUC) The white calcite crystal aggregate attached to the side of the jouravskite (identity still to be confirmed) crystal is as lustrous as polished glass, pearly white and translucent. Without the beautiful yellow crystal attached, the calcite would be worth $2 at the kiddies stall at the Waverley Gem Club Show. Without the calcite crystal aggregate attached, the yellow species may be priced at less than $500 and sold as "front counter" material at a mineral show. However, since the white and the yellow species are so harmoniously and esthetically arranged on this piece, it is a small miniature that is of competition quality instead of being just another "also ran" specimen. Importantly, the piece that this caption refers to has not been oiled or had its color artificially enhanced. The much larger and more famous ettringite crystal in the collection of Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts (which was sold for around $80,000 to the university in around 1999) was at least 4" tall but had been dipped in liquid paraffin oil to prevent the specimen from reacting with atmospheric carbon dioxide and degrading to worthless crap (oh, did I really use that word on this polite website?). In contrast to the much better known Harvard piece, my illustrated one has been out of the ground for over five years and during this time, has been stored at ambient temperature and humidity in the presence of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since my specimen is still in pristine condition despite not being stored in a carbon dioxide free environment, it is unlikely that this specimen will become problematic in its future as a display specimen in my sub-collection of elite small miniatures.
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