This is a super, highly distinctive combination specimen from this locality, featuring groups of yellow stilbite crystals perched upon a group of light green prehnite balls. The translucent stilbite crystals are grouped in a perfect fan and in clustered fans, the central one of which is approaching a ball in shape. In minor association at lower left are small lustrous golden-brown-to-green translucent epidote crystals. In excellent condition, no damage to the prehnite, minor chipping can be found on the stilbite with close inspection, and the fan to the far-right is incomplete. Sits perfectly as photographed. A very pretty, colourful display piece.
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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.