This is a superb display specimen – very light lavender fluorite crystals on brilliant water clear needle quartz crystals, from the Shangbao Mine. The fluorite crystals each have dodecahedral and cubic faces, and they are intergrown in a line. They are sharp and transparent with good lustre (the cube faces are particularly bright and glassy). The starburst of quartz in front of the fluorite group is spectacular. Upon examination with a loupe, one can see that the fluorite has grown over quartz crystals and has inclusions of quartz crystals as well, one of which has a fluid inclusion and a bubble that moves. In excellent condition, there is no damage to the fluorite, and what appears to me to be a very slight contact on the backside of the top (there are minor incomplete quartz crystals if you search for them). There is one internal cleavage plane visible below the cube face in the centre of the cluster. This piece sits perfectly for display as photographed – a top Shangbao fluorite.
From the John S. White collection – it was on display in the case in John’s library/study and he loves this piece.
About 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.