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    Description

    SMITHSONITE
    Kabwe Mine (Broken Hill Mine), Kabwe Dist., Central Prov., Zambia

    It isn't often that a mineral locality is also the source of an important fossil, but Zambia's Broken Hill Mine (now called the Kabwe Mine) was the source of the first early hominid fossil found in Africa, an adult male skull of Homo heidelbergensis, found in 1921 by Swiss miner: Tom Zwiglaar. Now called "The Broken Hill Skull," it is nearly complete and believed to be between 200-300 thousand years old. The significance of the story is that without the Lead, Zinc and Silver mining operations that were conducted between 1906 and 1989, there would never have been the discovery of that skull. The mine's claim to fame doesn't stop with fossils: it was also one of the top localities for well-crystallized Smithsonite and the world's best Hopeite, as well as the type locality for Parahopeite. It is the Smithsonite that piques our interest here, with a group of very large tan crystals on a dark, gossan matrix. There are essentially three serious Smithsonite crystals rising from the matrix, the largest is a huge 1.69 inches (4.3 cm) long and is quite transparent. As is typical for Smithsonite, the habit is the "rice-grain" type with multiple, sub-parallel faces. Luster is waxy to glassy and condition is excellent with very minor "wilbers" to the Smithsonite. There is an accession number on the back of the specimen - "283," but no corresponding data. Along with Tsumeb and Berg Aukas, Kabwe specimens are "as good as it gets."
    Overall Measurements: 2.46 x 1.44 x 1.25 inches (6.26 x 3.68 x 3.2 cm)


    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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    28th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 790

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