Two main spheres of beautiful golden yellow stilbite crystals are associated with small epidote crystals and some addtional fans and grouped aggregates of stilbite. The terminations of the stilbite crystals (at the surface of the sphere) are sharp with a glassy lustre. In excellent condition – from the optimal display angle one small chip is visible if you seek it out with a loupe. There is minor chipping on either side of the piece, out of view from the front, and some small epidotes are incomplete. This is one of the finest of these stilbites I’ve seen, for quality, colour, translucence, lustre – it is a superb specimen.
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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.