DescriptionDIOPTASE ON MATRIX
Altyn-Tyube, Altyn-Su River, Kirghiz Steppes, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Kazakhstan.
Considered from a scientific viewpoint, minerals are classified and described very similarly to plants and animals. All three have what are called 'type specimens'; an actual specimen, deposited in a public institution, that is considered to be the one all others are compared to for similarity. If the unknown specimen matches the 'type' specimen for various characteristics then it is considered to be the same species. Integral to this process is a description of the "type locality': the place where the 'type specimen' was found. For dioptase; the type locality is Altyn-Tube in Kazakhstan. Since the original discovery in 1797, other specimens have come to light. Virtually all of the better ones came out long ago. Unfortunately since production has continued on a sporadic basis up until the present, it is difficult to establish the age and therefore the historic value of a given specimen without provenance. This rather fine example of the mineral is fortunately accompanied by a rather lengthy and distinguished pedigree. It first appeared in the inventory of Gregory of London (later Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd) where it was purchased by Clarence Bement. Bement donated it to the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, as part of the Bement Collection bequest. At that time (1873) this specimen was valued at the astronomical sum of $126. It acquired its Bement Collection number (#11034) around this time. It stayed in the collection until 1983 and then was traded to a dealer: Herb Obodda of Short Hills, New Jersey. From Mr. Obodda it went to the collection of Lawrence Conklin; a dealer in New York City (Collection Number 417), thence to Rob Lavinsky of Dallas and finally the Gardiner and Mary Miller Collection in Montana. It was cleaned and trimmed to its present size in October 2000. The specimen is 3 ¼ inches in height and 2 inches in width, The beautiful green-blue main crystal measures, 5/8+ inches in length (large for clean, sharp crystals from this locality). There are a number of smaller dioptase crystals in addition. They are perched upon a white/colorless crystalline calcite layer over-coating the golden matrix rock. The luster is excellent, particularly for material from this locality. General condition of the specimen is fine. Overall; this specimen represents a rare combination of high quality and well documented history.
Condition report available upon request.
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