An absolutely gorgeous stepped fluorite crystal with superb colour zoning from the Shangbao Mine.
The Shangbao Mine, which is nestled in a bamboo forest, was originally a small pyrite ore operation. However, commercial mining operations ended decades ago and for many years has been operated for specimens. The fluorite specimens from the Shangbao Mine are regarded as among the finest from China, and today the Shangbao Mine is widely regarded as one of the world’s great fluorite localities.
This fluorite crystal is from the finds of the great “stepped” Shangbao fluorites, with the overall appearance (from a distance) of combined cube and dodecahedron. A little closer, one sees that the dodecahedral areas (between each of the large cube faces) are made up of a myriad of steps, alternating cube faces and dodecahedral faces. The colour zoning in this specimen is dramatic, with sharp and crisp colour zones on the cubic faces. There are sharp calcite and quartz crystals in association, a beautiful offset to the fluorite.
In excellent condition, no damage. From the collection of John S. White, this piece was a highlight in the display case in his library/study.
I note that there is distinct colour change depending on the light source. Under daylight and LED, the purple zones are closer to a cool bluish purple. Under halogen, the purple colour is more a magenta, and the green zones are essentially colourless with only a hint of green.
This is a killer fluorite!