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Post Mining
Classic Locality

Description Tabs

Tsumeb Mine, Otavi Highlands, Namibia
Crystal Group/Cluster
Size Range: 
Cabinet (10-18 cm)
13 × 12 × 8 cm

I acquired a Tsumeb rarity collection 13 years ago and this oddity was one of the collectors favorites- I had completely forgotten about it and uncovered the box just yesterday in one of my stores.

Known colloquially as a “backdoor” meaning that the copper was leaving the mine through the backdoor so to speak since this complex crystallization formed on the drainage pipes leaving the mine as water was pumped out from underground. I assume by the sheer size of the crystals that this was a long process and that such pieces were only extracted after the mining was ceased- hence perhaps as old as the mine itself??

The specimen is heavy consisting of a thick back surface where the encrustment began forming on the piping- the obvious cast like formation retains clear  ring like features where it made contact there. The upper surface is completely different featuring blade like crystals measuring up to 5cm in length complete with terminations just like any typical azurite might. The beginings are black sugar like granules becoming increasingly greener as the crystals gain length until translucent in the complex terminations, many terminations seem damaged but upon close inspection this is not the case, these are in fact perfectly in tact and consist of numerous book like layers that have not properly grown together yet.

Many lateral crystals extend outwards from the main vertical crystal structures. The specimen exhibits a distinctive stain like sheen.

The condition is outstanding considering its rarity with only some edge wear to report.




Mineral Data
What's on the rock



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