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Tucson 2010

Page 1        Page 2: Mozambique        Page 3

Page 4


 

Mozambique

From the 1920's to the early 70's, Mozambique was one of many mineralogically promising locations in Africa.  The country gained independence form Portugal in 1975, and two years later became entangled in one of the Cold War era, left/right struggles that plagued much of the developing world from the 70's to the early 90's.

Gem mining came to a virtual standstill, and the country's vast pegmatites lay dormant.  In the last 15 years however, the country has once again come to gemological prominence. Today it is one of the primary sources of gem grade tourmaline for the cutting industry, and one of the few places in the world where the famous, copper bearing "paraiba" tourmaline can be found.

Strangely enough, specimens from this country are rarely available.  There was a Mineralogical Record issue published in 2000 that was largely dedicated to the country, and yet many of the specimens pictured were from old finds.

I came across a few dealers in Tucson this year with material from Mozambique, some specimens come from recent mining and others are slightly older.  I already had a few Mozambican aquamarines sitting around, so I figured this would make an interesting update.


 

MOZ1 Scapolite

Namitil, Nampula, Mozambique

5.2x 2.2x 2.1 cm

$1400

Scapolite of this quality is better known from Mpwawa, Tanzania, and crystals like this one are virtually unheard of from Mozambique (actually,  this crystal would be large even for Tanzania.)

 According to the mine owner, this crystal came from a small batch of 3 or 4 crystals.  The others were faceted, this one was preserved.

This is an exceptional scapolite for any locality, but is doubly rare being from Mozambique.  The crystal is terminated and very gemmy.

I have never seen another of this size and quality from the country.

 


 

MOZ2 Fluornatromicrolite

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

8.0x 5.5x 4.3 cm

$850

This is an exceptional specimen of this very rare, and very beautiful mineral.  There are two crystals imbedded in an albite matrix, and both show good faces and a deep, blue-green color.

I have only seen these specimens offered for sale about two other times that I can remember; Mozambique produces some of the finest in the world.

Good fluornatromicrolite has also been reported from Pakistan and Afghanistan, but those crystals tend to be orange.

Better in person!

 

 


 

MOZ3 Tourmaline

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

4.6x 2.3x 2.0 cm

$850

Here is a new find from Tucson 2010.  I showed this and the following piece to a geologist friend of mine, and his first instinct was to identify it as beryl. 

Despite the hexagonal nature of the crystal, when it is flipped around, it can be clearly seen to be tourmaline.

This specimen has a brightly colored blue cap, almost verging on what could be called "Paraiba". It is actually a watermelon crystal, and  more interestingly, is hollow!

I consider this to be one of the more interesting finds of the show, and certainly among the most limited (there were only a few crystals, and these are the best two)


 

MOZ4 Tourmaline "Paraiba Blue Cap"

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

4.0x 2.4x 2.1 cm

$750

Here is a new find from Tucson 2010.  I showed this and the preceding piece to a geologist friend of mine, and his first instinct was to identify it as beryl. 

Despite the hexagonal nature of the crystal, when it is flipped around, it can be clearly seen to be tourmaline.

This specimen has a brightly colored blue cap, almost verging on what could be called "Paraiba". It is actually a watermelon crystal, and  more interestingly, is hollow!

I consider this to be one of the more interesting finds of the show, and certainly among the most limited (there were only a few crystals, and these are the best two)

 


 

MOZ5 Tourmaline "Scepter"

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

5.1x 1.7x 1.15 cm

$385

With all the single tourmaline crystals coming out of Afghanistan and Brazil, here is something a little bit different.

This is a terminated "scepter" crystal from a rare locality, with a deep red base and an inky blue upper section.

 


 

 

MOZ6 Tourmaline, Lepidolite

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

3.8x 2.3x 1.6 cm

 

When I saw this piece, I thought it was from Brazil.  I was wrong; it is actually from Mozambique.

 All the images were taken under strong lighting to show off the specimen's beautiful colors- an inky blue termination, and a dark green shaft.

 


 

MOZ7 Beryl var. Aquamarine

Mocuba, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.3x 1.65x 1.2 cm

$250

A rare aquamarine specimen from Mozambique, this thumbnail consists of two terminated, parallel crystals.  Both have internal phantoms, and interesting elongated terminations. 

 

 


 

MOZ8 Beryl var. Aquamarine

Mocuba, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

3.2x 2.4x 1.8 cm

$200

A rare aquamarine specimen from Mozambique, this toenail consists of a single crystal showing excellent color.  The crystal is terminated, only the termination is very weathered (it is not broken off).

This is a gemmy crystal and, it is possible to see growth patterns on its faces.

 

 


 

MOZ21 Beryl var. Aquamarine

Mocuba, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

6.0x 1.0x 1.0 cm

$125

A prism of aquamarine from Mozambique, not terminated but a decent sized sample.

 

 

MOZ9 Tourmaline

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

4.4x 1.0x 0.8 cm

$185

A terminated, brownish-red crystal of tourmaline from Mozambique.  The crystal is actually rather gemmy, but the internal fractures reflect light and make it look worse in the photographs.

No damage (the white square is the remnant of a sticker).

 


 

MOZ10 Fluornatromicrolite

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

4.8x 2.8x 2.4 cm

$450

An exceptional specimen of this very rare, and very beautiful mineral.  There is one large crystal, slightly weathered on matrix, showing the characteristic deep, blue-green color.

I have only seen these specimens offered for sale about two other times that I can remember; Mozambique produces some of the finest in the world.

Better in person!

 


 

MOZ11 Spodumene (Floater)

Namacotche, Mutala, Mozambique

8.0x 2.9x 2.1 cm

$420

A terminated floater specimen of spodumene from Mozambique, this crystal is like a piece of yellow glass.  When viewed from a particular angle, it has a greenish hue as well.

These were last encountered in 2003, and this is a beautiful specimen from recent production.  No damage!

 


 

MOZ12 Spodumene (Floater!)

Namacotche, Mutala, Mozambique

5.3x 4.3x 1.3 cm

$400

A double terminated floater specimen of spodumene from Mozambique, this crystal is like a piece of yellow glass and actually has reasonably sharp edges. 

These were last encountered in 2003, and this is a beautiful specimen from recent production.  No damage!

Please note the color is much more yellow in person, for some reason it is not showing up in the images.

This is my favorite of the spodumenes on this page, it looks considerably better in person.

 

 


 

MOZ13 Spodumene (Floater)

Namacotche, Mutala, Mozambique

5.4x 3.4x 1.3 cm

 

A double terminated floater specimen of spodumene from Mozambique, this crystal is like a piece of yellow glass an actually has reasonably sharp edges. 

These were last encountered in 2003, and this is a beautiful specimen from recent production.  No damage!

Please note the color is much more yellow in person, for some reason it is not showing up in the images.

 


 

MOZ14 Spodumene (Floater)

Namacotche, Mutala, Mozambique

4.4x 2.8x 1.4 cm

 

A double terminated floater specimen of spodumene from Mozambique, this crystal is like a piece of yellow glass an actually has reasonably sharp edges. 

These were last encountered in 2003, and this is a beautiful specimen from recent production.  No damage!

Please note the color is much more yellow in person, for some reason it is not showing up in the images.

 


 

MOZ16 Spodumene (Floater)

Namacotche, Mutala, Mozambique

3.0x 2.9x 0.8 cm

$135

A double terminated floater specimen of spodumene from Mozambique, this crystal is like a piece of yellow glass an actually has reasonably sharp edges. 

These were last encountered in 2003, and this is a beautiful specimen from recent production.  No damage!

Please note the color is much more yellow in person, for some reason it is not showing up in the images.

 


 

MOZ17 Columbite

Naipa Mine, Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

4.8x 3.2x 1.8 cm

$245

A beautiful miniature columbite crystal from the Alto Ligonha pegmatites.  Perfectly terminated.

 


 

MOZ18 Ixiolite-(Sc)

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.3x 1.9x 1.3 cm

$135

A thumbnail specimen of this very rare scandium bearing mineral, ixiolite is almost never encountered for sale.

This specimen consists of a hemispherical aggregate of crystals.

 


 

MOZ19 Ixiolite-(Sc)

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

1.9x 1.4x 1.1 cm

$125

A thumbnail specimen of this very rare scandium bearing mineral, ixiolite is almost never encountered for sale.

This specimen consists of  hemispherical aggregates of crystals.

 


 

MOZ20 Ixiolite-(Sc)

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.1x 1.8x 1.1 cm

$125

A thumbnail specimen of this very rare scandium bearing mineral, ixiolite is almost never encountered for sale.

This specimen consists of a hemispherical aggregate of crystals.

 


 

MOZ22 Rutile

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.9x 2.0x 1.7 cm

$135

A large, doubly terminated Mozambican rutile.  It looks like a slightly cruder example of something from Graves Mountain, Georgia.


 

MOZ23 Rutile

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.5x 1.8x 1.7 cm

$135

A large, terminated Mozambican rutile.  It looks like something from Graves Mountain, Georgia.

 


 

MOZ24 Rutile

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

2.5x 1.2x 1.0 cm

 

A sharp, terminated Mozambican rutile thumbnail.  It looks like something from Graves Mountain, Georgia.

 


 

MOZ25 Rutile

Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Prov., Mozambique

3.3x 1.9x 1.7 cm

 

A large terminated Mozambican rutile.  It looks like a slightly cruder example of something from Graves Mountain, Georgia.   Sorry for the blurry images; there is some contacting on the back, but you can see this in the image below.

 



Tucson 2010

Page 1        Page 2: Mozambique        Page 3

Page 4



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