A sharp lustrous parallel growth epidote crystal (singly-terminated) stands in sharp contrast to this light yellow ball of stilbite crystals. The stilbite crystals are translucent with glassy lustre, and the stilbite is complete all-around with no point of attachment, interrupted only by epidote crystals. In very good condition, there is an incomplete spot of epidote and a chip on the left-hand side of the piece (can be rotated out of view) and the epidotes are incomplete – otherwise the stilbite ball is in exceptional overall condition. A bright and fresh-looking specimen – very sharp and clean.
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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.