The collection / Minerals from Namib region

Wulfenite

Size: 8.7 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Wulfenite was relatively rare at the Tsumeb mine, but was found in a range of colors and habits, probably from small, isolated pockets. Production peaked during the 1970s when the second oxidation zone was being mined; no significant specimens were ever recovered from the third oxidation zone.

Amethyst Quartz

Size: 30 cm

Location: Brandberg Area, Orabes Gorge near Uis, Erongo Region, Namibia

Description: The Brandberg, a mountainous area west of the mining village of Uis, rises 2,000 meters above the plains of the Namib Desert. Fine amethyst specimens had been found there since before World War II, but the locality was more or less forgotten until 2004, when many new specimens were discovered by collectors.

Nambulite

Size: 9 cm

Location: Kombat mine,Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Kombat mine exploited two very different types of deposit: a copper-lead-silver sulfide orebody with secondary mineralization, and an associated lens of manganese silicates, carbonates and oxides. The latter zone has yielded the world’s finest specimens of the rare species nambulite, first described from the Kombat mine in 1978.

Smithsonite With Cerussite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Apple-green smithsonite colored by up to 3% of copper carbonate is one of the most beautiful of all smithsonite varieties at the Tsumeb mine. In the early day of mining it was referred to as “herrerite,” named after the local Herrero tribe, members of which often worked as miners.

Malachite After Azurite

Size: 11 cm

Location:Onganja mine,Seis, Windhoek District,Khomas Region, Namibia

Description: The Onganja mine is best known among collectors for its extraordinarily large cuprite crystals (typically malachite-coated), “primary” malachite crystals of a distinctive habit, and native copper crystals. But fine malachite pseudomorphs after azurite crystals up to 10 cm long were also found.

Malachite Coated Cuprite

Size: 10cm
Location:Onganja mine, Seis, Windhoek District,Khomas Region, Namibiaa

Description: The famous pocket of big cuprite crystals was encountered at the Onganja mine during development of the Vent shaft to serve the Mill Decline shaft in 1973. Management was so excited by the find that they continued to concentrate on this oxide zone—a decision which caused copper recovery at the flotation plant to drop by more than 50%, contributing to the closure the mine the following year.

Smithsonite

Size: 12 cm

Location:Berg Aukas, Grootfontein, District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description:The dolomite-hosted lead-zinc-vanadium orebody at the Barg Aukas mine is most famous for the world’s best descloizite crystals, but attractive botryoidal masses and composite crystals of smithsonite have also been found there, primarily in the upper part of the Central Orebody. The mine ceased operations in 1978.

Smithsonite, Cerussite, Rosasite

Size: 14 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Combination specimens showing several species in attractive association are always particularly desirable and can be very aesthetic.Rosasite from Tsumeb is not often found in combination with attractive cerussite crystals, or with brilliant white drusy smithsonite.

Ludlockite

Size: 9 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Ludlockite was discovered at Tsumeb in 1968, by mineral dealers Charles Locke Key and Frederick Lunlow Smith (after whom it was named in 1977). It was found in a chunk of ore they had obtained from the “germanite section” in the second oxidation zone. Many years later, more specimens were recovered from the 44 level in the third oxidation zone, but it has always been one of the great rarities at Tsumeb.

Pink Calcite With Mottramite

Size: 14 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Black botryoidal mottramite makes an attractive compliment to the pink and white calcite of this specimen. Mottramite is widely distributed at Tsumeb but rarely forms part of aesthetic specimens.

Cuprite, Malachite, Mimetite

Size: 14 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: This unusual specimen consists of cuprite in small crystals overgrown by spherules of malachite and topped off with delicate sprays of pale yellow mimetite.

Tennantite Malachite Wulfenite

Size: 17 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Tennantite, one of the main ore minerals at Tsumeb, is known in superb tetrahedral crystals up to 30 cm on an edge, and also as pseudomorphs of azurite and malachite. In the specimen shown here, the crystals have only just begun to alter to malachite, and are associated with bright yellow crystals of Wulfenite.

Descloizite

Size: 13 cm

Location:Berg Aukas, Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Berg Aukas lead-zinc-vanadium deposit is famous for the world’s finest crystals of descloizite, and probably contained the world’s largest concentration of the mineral. The crystals are typically black to dark brown, but may show an attractive reddish color when back-lit.

Cerussite

Size: 14 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Large, blocky clusters of herringbone-twinned cerussite are among the great prizes of the Tsumeb mine, eager sought-after by collectors. Superb twinned crystals up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length have been found. Twinned sixling clusters looking like snowflakes are also known

Azurite Crystals

Size: 15 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Azurite specimens have been a Tsumeb “classic” since at least the 1930s. This pair of azurite crystals began to alter in spots to malachite, but was then etched by corrosive solutions, demonstrating the changing nature of the solutions present in the oxide zones.

Pink Smithsonite Rose

Size: 5 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Pink smithsonite, especially the rose-shaped aggregates such as the specimen shown here, that are colored by trace amounts of manganese or cobalt, has been found in all three oxidation zones at Tsumeb. However, the more attractive specimens have generally come from the lower levels.  Superb rhombohedrons looking rather like rhodochrosite have been found between the 45 and 47 levels in the deepest part of the mine.

Smithsonite With Descloizite

Size: 11cm

Location: Berg Aukas,rootfontein,District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Berg Aukas lead-zinc-vanadium deposit, although famous for the world’s finest crystals of descloizite, has also been a source of large colorless to pale-colored smithsonite crystals up to 6 cm. When combined with the descloizite for which the mine is so well known, the specimen represent the best of the deposit.

Green Smithsonite

Size:  7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Smithsonite has been found in all three oxidation zones at the Tsumeb mine, although the specimens from the first oxidation zone are the last attractive.  Green, copper-colored smithsonite (called zinkschale by the early German miners) did occur in the first zone but the specimen shown here is probably from the second oxidation zone.

Smithsonite

Size:  13 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Smithsonite colored green by trace amounts of copper is among the loveliest of all Tsumeb minerals; crystals range from several centimeters to botryoidal encrustations. The specimen shown here is probably from the second oxidation zone.

Cerussite On Smithsonite

Size: 7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Blocky sixling twins of cerussite are among the great prizes of Tsumeb; but, like all minerals from there, they are far rarer now than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. The combination of cerussite on pink cobalt-colored smithsonite, however, is a great rarity.

Amethyst

Size: 7 cm

Location:Brandberg Area,Orabes Gorge near Uis,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Brandberg, a mountainous area west of the mining village of Uis, rises 2,000 meters above the plains of the Namib Desert. Fine amethyst specimens had been found there since before World War II, but the locality was more or less forgotten until 2004, when many new specimens were discovered by collectors.

Azurite Crystals

Size: 7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Fine azurite specimens from Tsumeb, which all came from the upper levels of the mine in the first oxidation zone, have been collected there sporadically throughout the life of the mine. Miners have recognized the specimen value of good crystals since the 1920s, when specimens were routinely shipped to German mineral dealer Wilhelm Maucher (1879-1930) in Munich.

Mimetite On Beaverite

Size: 6 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Mimetite is known from Tsumeb in a variety of crystal habits but usually pale yellow in color. The most famous discovery took place in 1971, when a pocket was found containing about 30 extraordinary specimens of lustrous, gemmy crystals up to 6 cm in size. Crystals from this “gem mimetite” pocket, like the one shown here (with powdery yellow beaverite), are considered the finest for the species.

Cerussite Crystals With Malachite, Galena

Size: 7.7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Cerussite was one of the principal ores of lead at the Tsumeb mine, and occurred in an extremely wide range of habits. This dark, smoky orange-black crystal, so gemmy as to be suitable for faceting, is unusual in not being twinned.

Azurite (Leaf-Like)

Size:  9 cm

Location:Tschudi mine,Otavi, Otjozondjupa Region,Namibia

Description:The Tschudi low-grade, copper-silver deposit in the Otavi Mountainland (20 km west of Tsumeb) was discovered in 1968. It has not been a big specimen producer, but in the 1990s it yielded specimens of azurite, malachite and cuprite. The example shown here is unusual for the relatively large crystal size of the azurites.

Aquamarine

Size:  7 cm

Location:Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Erongo Mountains are the largest of the late-Mesozoic alkanine complexes in Namibia. Aquamarine beryl specimens are the premier collectibles from the miarolitic cavities there. They are mined by local diggers from hundreds of small cavities distributed over a wide area.

Cerussite Crystals On Pink Smithsonite

Size:  10cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Blocky sixling twins of cerussite are among the great prizes of Tsumeb; but, like all minerals from there, they are far rarer now than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. The combination of cerussite on pink cobalt-colored smithsonite, however, is a great rarity.

Amethyst

Size: 12 cm

Location:Goboboseb Mountains, Brandberg area,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Goboboseb Mountains consist primarily of volcanic rocks, wherein vesicles have been found to contain beautiful amethyst crystals. Most “Brandberg” amethyst specimens that do not show a matrix of white feldspar crystals are actually from the Goboboseb Mountains rather than the Brandberg Igneous Complex.

Wulfenite With Malachite

Size: 16 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:The Tsumeb mine is one of the few first-rank localities for wulfenite in the world, outside of Arizona and northern Mexico. The major occurrences were confined to the first and second oxidation zones, where most of the important finds were made during the 1970s. Crystals are sometimes associated with dioptase or, like the one shown here, with malachite.

Quartz

Size: 18 cm

Location:Goboboseb Mountains,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Goboboseb Mountains have also yielded fine colorless quartz crystal clusters such as this 14-cm example. Although labelled “Brandberg,” it does not show a matrix of white feldspar crystals and is therefore probably from the Goboboseb Mountains rather than the Brandberg Igneous Complex.

Amethyst

Size: 10 cm

Location:Goboboseb Mountains,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:Here is another example of a fine amethyst scepter, this one containing colorless and smoky areas. Although labelled “Brandberg,” it does not show a matrix of white feldspar crystals and is therefore probably from the Goboboseb Mountains rather than the Brandberg Igneous Complex.

Amethyst

Size: 15 cm

Location:Goboboseb Mountains,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Goboboseb Mountains have also yielded fine amethyst scepter such as this 15-cm example. Although labelled “Brandberg,” it does not show a matrix of white feldspar crystals and is therefore probably from the Goboboseb Mountains rather than the Brandberg Igneous Complex.

Amethyst

Size: 13 cm

Location:Goboboseb Mountains,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:The Goboboseb Mountains have yielded many fine amethyst crystals but few as large as this 13-cm parallel-growth crystal. Although labelled “Brandberg,” it does not show a matrix of white feldspar crystals and is therefore probably from the Goboboseb Mountains rather than the Brandberg Igneous Complex.

Malachite After Azurite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Chemical conditions in the Tsumeb mine were such that large azurite crystals only formed in the first oxidation zone, and many of these crystals were later subject to changes that converted them into malachite pseudomorphs. Specimens continued to be found in the old workings, even as the focus of mining moved down to the second and third oxidation zones.

Cerussite Crystals On Mottramite

Size: 11 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Large cerussite twins have always been highly sought after by collectors, but are especially valued when they are attachjed to a matrix of contrasting color, such as the mottramite druse in the specimen shown here. Mottramite is abundant at Tsumeb, but never as attractive crystals larger than a millimeter or two.

Mimetite

Size: 10cm

Location: Tsumeb mineTsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Mimetite has been found at Tsumeb since the early days of mining in the first oxidation zone, though it was originally misidentified as pyromorphite. Many habits are well known, including the botryoidal clusters and wheat-sheaf groups shown here.

Fibrous Malachite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Malachite is the most abundant secondary copper mineral in the three oxidation zones at the Tsumeb mine. Dense coatings of bright green acicular crystals of “primary” (non-pseudomorphous) malachite are well-known as specimens, often in combination with other copper minerals such as dioptase and cuprite.

Cuprite With Malachite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Onganja mine,Seis, Windhoek District,Khomas Region, Namibia

Description: The Onganja mine yielded the first copper ore shipped back to Germany around 1900 by the early German colonists. In 1973 a spectacular pocket was encountered which yielded around 2,000 perfect cuprite crystals up to 14 cm in diameter, most of them coated by a thin layer or film of malachite. The underground workings where specimens like this were found have been flooded since 1974.

Dioptase _ Included Calcite Crystals On Dolom

Size: 16.4 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Colorless calcite crystals were often overlooked by the miners at Tsumeb as not being worth their time (and the risk of getting caught and fired). However, calcite colored by impurities such as microscopic inclusions of dioptase (as shown here), malachite, cuprite or conichalcite brought much better prices, and thus were more often recovered.

Calcite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Calcite is the most common mineral at Tsumeb, and during the years of greatest specimen production in the 1970s and 1980s is was usually passed over by the miners as not being of sufficient value. Hence relatively few great specimens were saved, especially the white crystals not colored by impurities.

Smithsonite With Cerussite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Crystals of one mineral are often found encrusting another at Tsumeb; turquoise-blue is probably the rarest and most beautiful of all smithsonite colors, here seen in lustrous, translucent small crystals covering large crystals of cerussite.

Cuprodescloizite

Size: 9 cm

Location:Berg Aukas, Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description:Although famous as the source of the world’s finest crystals of descloizite, Berg Aukas has also yielded large crystals of dark greenish “cuprodescloizite,” now considered a copper-rich variety of mottramite. The example shown here was collected in the 1970s.

Aragonite

Size: 11cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Well-crystallized aragonite colored blue or blue-green by trace amounts of copper was well known at the Tsumeb mine, where it was found in the upper levels between the 220 and 400-meter levels. Renewed work in the same area in 1995 yielded more of the same kind of specimens.

Fluorite On Quartz

Size: 25cm

Location: Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description: In 2008 a small pocket yielded zoned green fluorite crystals that are bright and gemmy green in the center but black in the corner zones, yielding what some people have called “alien eye” crystals because of the peculiar appearance (especially when backlit). The specimen shown here is accompanied by very fine, undamaged quartz crystals.

Mimetite

Size: 20 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Yellow mimetite in little bundles is one of the characteristic habits from Tsumeb. In 1995, the last year of operation at Tsumeb, a doubly terminated mimetite crystal was found that measures 12 cm and looks rather like a ball-point pen in shape. Pseudomorphs are known which suggest that mimetite crystals up to 30 cm long once existed.

Anglesite

Size: 16 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Anglesite was first found at Tsumeb in the first oxidation zone, as white to translucent bipyramids. Fine examples of this habit were also found on Christmas Day in 1992. Many other habits are known, giving anglesite such a variable appearance that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish from cerussite and gray wulfenite.

Pink Smithsonite

Size: 20 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Pink smithsonite (colored by trace amounts of manganese or cobalt) usually occurs in rather blocky, nearly equant crystals. The specimen shown here, however, is of a different habit: hexagonal prisms capped by steep rhombohedron faces. Associations with other minerals are rare.

Smithsonite

Size: 18 cm

Location:Berg Aukas, Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description:Golden yellow druses of sparkling smithsonite have been found lining cavities at Berg Aukas. In the specimen pictured here the druse appears to have originally covered stalactites of some other mineral which have since been dissolved away, leaving these hollow smithsonite shells.

Aquamarine

Size: 9 cm

Location:Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:Lustrous blue aquamarine beryl crystals in attractive clusters are among the most sought after specimens from the miarolitic cavities of the Erongo Mountains. Many specimens are unfortunately damaged by inexpert collecting methods, but those that survive extraction with little damage make superb display pieces.

Cerussite

Size: 9 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Sixling-twinned cerussite crystals looking like big snowflakes are among the most famous of all the minerals produced at the Tsumeb mine. During the 1970s many important pieces were recovered during mining of the second oxidation zone.

Smithsonite

Size: 10.4 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Smithsonite at the Tsumeb mine can be colored varying shades of green by copper impurities or by inclusions of green minerals such as malachite or conichalcite. The rhombohedral crystals are sometimes rather rounded on the edges.

Pink Calcite

Size: 18 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Most colorless calcite crystals were discarded as worthless by the miners at Tsumeb. But crystals colored an attractive pink by trace amounts of manganese or cobalt made better display specimens and brought better prices, thus they were more likely to have been saved when encountered.

Wulfenite

Size: 14.5 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Wulfenite crystals in a variety of colors have been found only in the first and second oxidation zones, but some were very large; in 1968, caramel-colored crystals up to 60 cm (!) on edge were encountered. Most crystals are gray or pale yellow (like the example shown here) but black, blue, orange and sherry color are also known.

Pink Smithsonite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Pink smithsonite, colored by trace amounts of manganese or cobalt, has been found in all three oxidation zones at Tsumeb. However, the more attractive specimens have generally come from the lower levels.  Superb rhombohedrons looking rather like rhodochrosite have been found between the 45 and 47 levels in the deepest part of the mine.

Smithsonite On Cerussite

Size: 12 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Cerussite specimens from Tsumeb come in a great variety of forms, and are known in sizes up to 60 cm. Although they were quite common on the market in the 1970s and 1980s (mined from the second oxidation zone), “special” specimens such white hydrozincite-coated crystals and pale green smithsonite-coated crystals like the example shown here were always rarities.

Schorl On Quartz

Size: 15 cm

Location: Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description: Schorl is not usually thought of as an attractive display species, but the Erongo Mountains have yielded extraordinary crystals with high luster and substantial size. Because the miarolitic cavities are scattered over such a wide area, it is likely that many pockets remain to be found.

Malachite After Azurite With Cerussite

Size: 12 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: This unusual specimen consists of a single crystal of azurite pseudomorphically replaced by malachite, with cerussite crystals perched on the sides, and the whole then coated by a thin layer of drusy quartz.

Dioptase On Cerussite

Size: 7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Drusy dioptase coating calcite is well-known, but examples of drusy dioptase coating cerussite are quite rare. The specimen shown here, which is coated on only one side by dioptase, also contains some duftite.

Azurite And Malachite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: All azurite crystal specimens from Tsumeb came from the upper levels of the mine in the first oxidation zone. Mining continued there periodically to produce carbonate or for balancing smelter charges, so specimens continued to emerge throughout much of the active life of the mine. Rich pockets were found in the 1980s, and the “Easter Pocket” was found in 1994.

Fluorite On Quartz

15cm

Anglesite And Duftite

Size: 18 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Platy, pale blue to blue-green anglesite colored by trace amounts of copper or copper mineral inclusions is the rarest color at Tsumeb. In September 1989, a pocket at Tsumeb produced a few specimens of tabular, pale blue anglesite crystals to 7 cm; a few specimens reached Western markets, but it was reported that many more potential specimens, with still larger anglesite crystals, had been destroyed by a mine blast which went off too close to the pocket.

Azurite On Malachite

Size: 17 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Azurite crystals growing directly on malachite demonstrate the fluctuating chemical conditions during oxidation, during which “primary” malachite may form, followed by azurite, then replacement of the azurite by malachite, and then in some cases a renewed growth of fresh azurite on the pseudomorphs.

Fluorite On Quartz

Size: 9 cm

Location:Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description:Changes in fluorite crystal habit (from octahedral to cubic) and color (from green to purple-black) during the growth of crystals has resulted in zoning patterns that are quite striking. Some pockets found on the Brabant 168 farm were even found to contain some of the original purple miarolitic fluid from which the fluorite crystals formed.

Azurite Needles

Size: 9 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Despite its relative rarity, azurite from Tsumeb comes in a great variety of habits, from blocky and equant to long and prismatic like the specimen shown here, found in the 1980s. Each pocket often showed a characteristic habit. The largest crystals known from Tsumeb reach 50 cm in length, though they tend to be rather dull.

Azurite Crystals

Size: 8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Fine azurite crystals from Tsumeb are rare than most collectors realize, inasmuch as specimens came only from the first oxidation zone and many had been partially or completely altered to malachite. Many of the finest examples known, all from level 8, came from the collections of the early mine managers and mine captains, who were enthusiastic collectors.

Native Copper

Size: 8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: The most common native element at Tsumeb was copper, which has been found in all three oxidation zones of the deposit in crystals up to 5 cm. The dendritic “trees” are the result of twinning. The example shown here is partially penetrating a gemmy crystal of calcite.

Cerussite

Size: 8 cm

Location: Kombat mine,Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Kombat mine is most famous for gemmy, pale brown, V-shaped twins of cerussite, but other habits have been recovered as well. The large, colorless twin shown here could almost be mistaken for a Tsumeb twin.

Topaz And Smoky Quartz

Size: 9 cm

Location: Kleine Spitzkoppe,Karibib District,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description: Since the discovery of topaz there in 1889 the Kleine Spitzkoppe has attracted prospectors, miners and collectors. Many specimens have been recovered from miarolitic cavities over the years, but mostly as single crystals. Fine clusters of topaz and smoky quartz like the one shown here are very rare.

Aragonite

Size: 11 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Well-crystallized aragonite colored blue or blue-green by trace amounts of copper was well known at the Tsumeb mine, where it was found in the upper levels between the 220 and 400-meter levels. Renewed work in the same area in 1995 yielded more of the same kind of specimens.

Malachite After Azurite

Size: 10cm

Location: Tsumeb mineTsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Malachite has been the most important and abundant ore mineral at Tsumeb since the discovery of the original “Green Hill” outcrop there by Christopher James in 1900. Pseudomorphs of malachite after azurite, like the ones shown here, were most common in the

Mimetite

Size: 11 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Mimetite has been found at Tsumeb since the early days of mining in the first oxidation zone, though it was originally misidentified as pyromorphite. Many habits are well known, including the botryoidal clusters and wheat-sheaf groups shown here.

Dioptase And Calcite

Size: 12cm

Location: Tsumeb mineTsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Dioptase is one of the “signature minerals” of the Tsumeb mine, but has only been known there since the discovery of the second oxidation zone in 1967. The zone between the 30 and 32 levels was the richest source. Drusy dioptase on and in large, translucent crystals of calcite is among the most typical combinations from the second oxidation zone.

Schorl And Aquamarine

Size: 7cm

Location: Erongo MountainErongo Region, Namibia

Description: Minerals have been collected in the Erongo Mountains of Namibia for nearly a century, but since 1999 some of the finest specimens of aquamarine and schorl ever found there have been recovered from miarolitic cavities. The land is divided into farms, and most of the farms in the western, southwestern and northwestern part of the Erongo Mountains have yielded fine schorl crystals.

Azurite With Malachite

Size: 7cm

Location: Tsumeb mineTsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: All azurite crystal specimen from Tsumeb came from the upper levels of the first oxidation zone, from the surface down to about 400 meters. Although mining has progressed to far deeper levels, azurite continued to be found in the upper levels in later years, especially during the 1980s, because the carbonate ore there was needed to balance the smelter loads of more

Tarnowitzite

Size: 16cm

Location: Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Aragonite was a common mineral in the upper oxidation zone of the Tsumeb mine, particularly in the zone between 220 and 400 meters below the surface. Blue, copper-rich aragonite crystals up to 5 cm were found, as well as a white zinc-rich variety called “nicholsonite” and a white lead-rich variety called “tarnowitzite” (named after the occurrence at Tarnowitz in Upper Silesia).

Cerussite

Size: 8 cm

Location:Kombat mine,Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description:The Kombat mine deposit was discovered in 1850 and began operation around 1900. It finally closed due to flooding in 2008.Although management was notoriously strict about forbidding mineral collecting, the mine nevertheless yielded ten new species, some superb cerussite specimens and the world’s best specimens of nambulite.

Cerussite Twin

Size: 9.4 cm

Location: Kombat mine,Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Kombat mine exploited two very different types of deposit: a copper-lead-silver sulfide orebody with secondary mineralization, and an associated lens of manganese silicates, carbonates and oxides. Both produced fine specimens. The secondary mineralization in the sulfide orebody yielded some of the finest cerussite ever found in Africa, outside of Tsumeb.

Aquamarine In Schorl

Size: 6 cm

Location: Erongo Mountain,Erongo Region, Namibia

Description: Aquamarine beryl specimens, especially those associated with contrasting black, are the premier collectibles from the miarolitic cavities of the Erongo Mountains. Yellow, green and colorless beryl crystals are also known, but gemmy blue is the most desirable color. And the black schorl crystals are the finest ever found in Africa.

Cerussite

Size: 9.8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Twinned cerussites looking like big snowflakes are among the most recognizable of all the minerals produced at the Tsumeb mine. In the first oxidation zone specimens were found at a depth between 150 and 250 meters, but many more were mining during the 1970s from the second oxidation zone.

Wulfenite On Dolomite

Size: 9 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Among the rarest specimens of wulfenite found at Tsumeb during the 1970s, when the second oxidation zone was being mined, are the bright yellow crystals with good luster perched on dolomite. Fine crystals from Tsumeb are more typically gray to blue-gray or dull brown.

Leadhillite

Size: 8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Leadhillite is quite rare at Tsumeb, but the first discovery in the second oxidation zone yielded about 20 specimens that all rank as finer than any that have ever been found elsewhere in the world. The color ranges from white to gray with a pearly luster.

Dioptase With Wulfenite

Size: 6 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Dioptase at Tsumeb was rarely found in association with any minerals other than calcite or dolomite, but rare specimens with “primary” malachite, cerussite, conichalcite, molybdofornacite or especially wulfenite make for attractive contrasts. This specimen was probably found between the 30 and 32 levels.

 

Dioptase On Dolomite

Size: 13.2 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Dioptase is one of the most iconic of Tsumeb minerals, occurring in lustrous crystals to 5 centimeters. The richest area was between the 30 and 32 levels in the second oxidation zone; it produced a spectacular bonanza of dioptase specimens in the 1970s and 1980s. The most common association was calcite or dolomite.

Smithsonite

Size: 9 cm

Location: Berg Aukas, Grootfontein District,Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia

Description: The Berg Aukas lead-zinc-vanadium deposit, known as the source of the world’s finest crystals of descloizite, was discovered in 1913; mining was particularly active between 1950 and 1978. Smithsonite has been found there in spectacular crystals up to 6 cm, usually colorless to pale gray or pale greenish. Yellow crystals are the rarest and most attractive.

Arsentsumebite After Mimetite And Small Azuri

Size: 8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: About 40 different varieties of arsentsumebite have been reported from the Tsumeb mine, including pale green to apple-green, yellow-green and blackish green. The specimen pictured here consists of azurite and malachite pseudomorphs after azurite on perimorphous arsentsumebite shells after mimetite, probably found during mining on the sixth level in 1988.

Malachite Ball

Size: 8 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Although malachite pseudomorphs after well-formed azurite crystals are a highlight of Tsumeb mineralogy, the mine also produced many specimens of so-called “primary” (i.e. non-pseudomorphous) malachite, generally as acicular crystals in sprays and spherical clusters like the one shown here. Velvety coating on calcite, and as inclusions, are also known.

Willemite And Calcite

Size: 9.8 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description: Willemite has often been encountered at the Tsumeb mine, but can be undistinguished in appearance and difficult to sight-identify. The most famous specimens, found in the second oxidation zone during a brief period in the 1970s, consist of spheroidal clusters of a lovely, translucent blue color associated with white rhombohedral calcite.

Cerussite On Mottramite

Size: 10.4 cm

Location: Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Complex clusters of trilling-twinned cerussite are a hallmark of the Tsumeb deposit. Crystals can be thick, white and blocky, as in this example or thin and more transparent. Specimens have been recovered from all three oxidation zones.

Cerussite On Smithsonite

Size:  10.9 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Beautiful, twinned cerussite in a wide range of habits and sizes is among the most famous of all the minerals produced at the Tsumeb mine. During the 1970s specimens from the second oxidation zone were common on the market.

Yellow Smithsonite

Size:  12 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Smithsonite has been found at the Tsumeb mine since the earliest days of mining. The bright yellow color, as in the specimen shown here, is the result of trace amounts of cadmium in the crystal structure. Specimens from the first oxidation zone are not as attractive as those found in the 1970s in the second oxidation zone.

Azurite Crystals On Smithsonite

Size:  6 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Fine azurite specimens from Tsumeb are rare enough, but obtaining well-formed, undamaged crystals on a matrix of yellow cadmium-rich smithsonite is almost impossible today. Like other good crystal specimens of azurite, the one shown here came from the first oxidation zone, probably on the 8 level (well known for azurite since the 1920s).

Twin Azurite Crystals

Size:  7 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:All azurite crystal specimens from Tsumeb came from the upper levels of the mine in the first oxidation zone, from the surface down to a depth of about 400 meters. The most celebrated discovery was made by visiting American mineralogist Samuel Gordon in 1929, but richer pockets were found in the 1980s, and the “Easter Pocket” was found in 1994.

 

Red Cerussite With Malachite

Size:  6.2 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Among the rarest types of cerussite at Tsumeb was found in the third oxidation zone in 1996: crystals stained red by microscopic inclusions of acicular cuprite, usually in association with malachite, like the example shown here. Red cerussite crystals were never plentiful, and most are of thumbnail size; the example shown here is one of the largest known.

Calcite With Mottramite Inclusions

Size: 15 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Large, rhombohedral crystals of calcite with green mottramite and/or duftite inclusions have been a trademark mineral from Tsumeb. The inclusions typically form star patterns indicative of a change in the calcite crystal habit during crystallization.

Smithsonite

Size: 13 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Bi-colored, orange-to-pink smithsonite (the orange color probably caused by cadmium) is almost unknown from Tsumeb, this example being one of the few recovered. The habit is also unusual, and the parallel growth suggests a common substrate consisting of a single crystal of smithsonite or some other epitactically related species.

Smithsonite

Size: 12 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Looking more like a rhodochrosite specimen from some other locality, this specimen of sharp, transparent, cobalt-rich or manganese-rich smithsonite crystals is very rare and atypical of Tsumeb. The occurrence, in the deepest workings around the 46 level, also produced some of the finest chalcocite crystals from Tsumeb.

Smithsonite

Size: 10 cm

Location:Tsumeb mine,Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Description:Deep pink, cobalt-rich or manganese-rich smithsonite, found in the 1970s in the second oxidation zone, is among the most treasured of Tsumeb specimens. The crystals are typically rather rounded in habit, with oddly curved faces, like the ones shown here.