Y1603 Phosphophyllite
Cerro de Potosí, Potosí City, Potosí Department, Bolivia
2.6x 2.3x 1.5 cm

A beautiful thumbnail of phosphophyllite from Bolivia-- no description of the species seems to be complete without pointing out that the species is considered a "holy grail" of mineral collecting.

This is a modern piece, found around 10 years ago.  The best (and most expensive) examples were found before 1970, when the Unificada mine cluster was operational-- pieces like this are the result of daredevil miners donning oxygen tanks and going deep into the (officially closed) mines just to collect specimens.

While most of the modern pieces have noticeably light color, this phoshophyllite seems to have grown in a seam-- this has given it more depth and bit more saturated color than most.  The termination is complete, and the front shows the desirable twinned form.  It is a bit etched along the left edge.

While this isn't exactly cheap, it is a bargain compared to what one of the "old" samples would cost-- especially for a 1 inch crystal with twinning and decent color.  It isn't one of those pieces, but it does a pretty good job of faking it.

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