On this piece, a single complete ball of yellow stilbite crystals is perched perfectly on dark epidote. The stilbite ball is a warm golden yellow, with good glassy lustre at the crystal terminations that comrpise the ball’s surface – the stilbite is in excellent condition with minor rubbing visible upon close inspection. A number of eipdote crystals are complete while others are not, but when you view this specimen in the cabinet, the epidote is essentially matrix and contrast for the bright stilbite, rather than the focal point. This specimen looks just super in the cabinet.
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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.