Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Dimensions (H x W x D)

18.5 x 12.7 x 8 cm


2.202 kg

Description & Provenance

Smithsonite is a zinc carbonate that was first identified in 1802 by chemist and mineralogist, James Smithson. At the time of its discovery, there was no distinction between the minerals now known as smithsonite, hemimorphite, and hydrozincite, they were all previously considered to be calamine. Upon its recognition as an independent mineral, it was posthumously named after Smithson in 1832. Although it comes in an array of colors, the most desirable examples are well saturated crystals of turquoise blue, canary yellow, and light rose. This is an impressive and sizeable example of the species with a beautiful, bubblegum-pink coloration. A matrix (host-rock) with a contrasting earthy tone and texture accentuates the color and luster of the smithsonite. Rather than the more common rough and amorphous crystals that smithsonite tends to exhibit, this example has pronounced crystals that exhibit their rhombohedral form with distinction.  They have clustered together in abundance across their undulating, concave matrix, which adds depth and dimension to the piece. A lustrous sheen gives an almost pearlescent quality to the crystals, adding to their beauty. With its size and aesthetics, it is an extraordinary example of its species. It is also extremely collectible for having come from the famous Tsumeb Mine of Namibia, a now-closed, classic locality. Tsumeb is legendary for having produced some of the best examples of smithsonite, as well as several other highly-collectible species.

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