Description

    MALACHITE STALACTITE GROUP
    Katanga Copper Zone, Katanga (Shaba) Province, People's Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
    The upper portions of high-grade copper deposits frequently contain caves and fissures where crystals and 'cave formations' of copper minerals form. Many of these take the form of stalactites or stalagmites identical to those found in Carlsbad Caverns and the like. Unfortunately; these areas are what mining companies call 'oxide ore zones', a particularly rich form of ore. As a consequence, although much of this material has been found from the Bronze Age to the present Bronze Age, most of it has ended up as: wire, pipes, swords, pennies, etc. The few remaining places left with any 'oxide zones' are in remote and still largely undeveloped countries like the Congo and Zaire. Local mining operations produce and save a few malachite stalactites for the specimen market because they know that the specimen value in dollars is worth considerably more than the ore value in cents.
    This velvety green specimen was plucked off of the ceiling of a cavity, wrapped in precious newspaper and stored in a miners' home until an itinerant mineral dealer makes the rounds. This group of four inter-grown stalactites curve sinuously as they rise from their basal attachment. The main 'stal' enlarge near the tip - probably the result of falling water levels during its growth cycle. There are two breaks to the piece, neither of which affects it to any significant degree. It extends 9 ¼ inches from the base to the tip and otherwise measures 1 ¾ x 1 ¾ inches in width and depth. The luster is the typical druzy/velvety one seen in this material and is in fine condition. There is a custom acrylic base for this specimen.


    Estimate: $4,500 - $5,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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