Ajoite in Quartz

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Lot 1340
Ajoite in Quartz

US$ 8,000 - 10,000
£ 6,500 - 8,200
Property of Various Owners




Ajoite in Quartz
Messina Mine, Messina, Limpopo Prov, South Africa
This spectacular single 1.4 pound crystal originates from a famous mine in northern South Africa, which was closed in 1994 and then briefly reopened in 2008.

From the surprising January 2008 find here, this is a symmetric, complete, undamaged crystal showing rich inclusions of the rare species ajoite. Interestingly, the quartz crystal has a "girdle" of sorts of included material which darkens the stalk and thus draws the eye all the more to the beautiful blue atop. Note this is not polished, as so many tragically were. Also, while many were found, few of this size with both good color and with perfect terminations were able to be recovered.

Ajoite included specimens were found as deep as 3,500 feet below the surface of the earth while miners were working at raising ore from which to extract copper for industrial uses. Ajoite is a very rare, beautiful copper-bearing species. This is the only locality in the world where ajoite inclusions appear in quartz. Copper does not typically grow inside of quartz very often, and this is a very unique phenomenon— referred to as a "phantom". These are among the most sought after quartz inclusions to collectors, both because of the phenomenon of the copper inside the quartz crystal, as well as for the beautiful color—it is one of a very few minerals in the mineral kingdom that possess this special turquoise hue. The demand far outweighs the supply for this material, as it was an isolated find that has now been entirely absorbed into the market.

This single large crystal is iconic in form and notable for the perfection of its unpolished hexagonal termination and the vivid saturation of unearthly blue ajoite seen within. Measures 5 x 3 ½ x 2 ½ in

Offered on a custom-fitted acrylic stand


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