This is one of the finest Diamonkara specimens I’ve seen to date – a gorgeous ball of yellow stilbite is perched on a plate of martix together with prehnite and small sparkling epidote crystals. The stilbite crystals are sharp, translucent and have glassy lustre, and the ball is beautifully proportioned. In excellent condition, a couple of tiny nicks, this is as good as they get. The aesthetic balance of this specimen is simply superb.
About These Stilbites
These beautiful yellow stilbite balls from Mali made their debut at Ste. Marie 2014. Although there has only been a small trickle of fine specimens since then, the deposit at Diamonkara has once again produced a number of very fine pieces. As in 2014, moderate-to-significant damage was almost ubiquitous, and high-quality specimens like the ones in this lot are very uncommon. As a side note, although there has been a push to sell these as specimens of stellerite, none of the analytical work done to date has confirmed any stellerite identification, to my knowledge (and I am aware some analytical work has been done).
As for the specimens themselves, the good Diamonkara pieces are absolutely some of the nicest and most distinctive stilbites I’ve ever seen from anywhere, with beautiful colour and form. They are perhaps not yet appreciated for what they are – these are striking, colourful display specimens of a mineral that is often pale and drab.