Potrerillos, Diego de Almagro, Chañaral Province, Atacama Region, Chile
Interesting mineral specimens seem to have a weakness for forming in what might euphemistically be called "stark" environments: places others might call "bleak." Whether you are a "bleaker" or a "starker," it can be agreed that the mine that furnished this unusual specimen is pretty much the epitome of such terms. Rainfall in this part of the Atacama is a rare and celebrated occurrence and any life-forms living here are seriously "hardcore." One could easily mistake the area for any of the Martian Rover photos. Maybe it takes an extreme environment to produce an exotically different specimen like this one. This slightly different Malachite is a green, egg shaped mass with a partial overcoat of sparkling, druzy Quartz crystals, sitting barely inside a cavity within an odd matrix of massive Hematite. The sizable 1.68 inches (4.26 cm) Malachite "egg" shows concentric layers or "shells" where the Quartz coating does not completely envelop the mass and exposes several layers. There are a couple of fully Quartz covered spheres of Malachite tucked away in the corner of the same druzy cavity. Whether the partial nature of the Quartz overcoat on the "egg" is natural or the result of "judicious intervention" is open to debate. Otherwise, this piece is in excellent condition.
Overall Measurements: 5.13 x 4.5 x 4.53 inches (13.0 x 11.43 x 11.5 cm)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500.
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