on Quartz with Hubeite Daye Mine, Hubei Prov., China 5" tall ex-collection Steve Smale
Gorgeous deep pink to rose-red inesite
from the Fengjiashan mine is the finest in the world; large spherical crystal clusters like the one shown here are extremely rare, and are the most sought after.
The Fengjiashan mine, also known as the Daye mine, is famous among mineralogists and mineral collectors as the type locality for hubeite and the source of some of the world's best crystallized inesite
. Opened as a copper mine in 1966, it became unprofitable and was converted to a wollastonite mine in the early 1980's, Quartz, scheelite, apophyllite and other species of collector interest have been found there as well.
Fengjiashan Hubei amethyst, apophyllite, braunite, calcite, chalcopyrite, datolite, hubeite, ilvaite, inesite
, japanese twins, pyrite, stilbite/stellarite, wollastonite Fenglin Jiangxi chalcocite Fengsandong Hubei amethyst, bornite, apophyllite, chalcopyrite, datolite, inesite
, molybdenite, pyrite, parsettensite, stilbite Fushan Hebei vesuvianite, hematite Fushun Liaoning amber Fuyun Xinjiang, aquamarine, fluorite, garnet, hiddennite, Uygur A.R.
For the mineral collector there was also something new from China: colorful inesite
in tiny pale pink blades heavily encrusting the matrix.
This collection is rich in rhodochrosite from the Kalahari Manganese Field, along with inesite
, azurite/malachite pseudomorphs, ludlockite, fine quartzes from the Brandberg area, and much more.
The case held a huge blue hemimorphite, a superb large purple fluorite group, a choice scheelite, a very colorful inesite
, a nice 6-inch azurite rose, an odd orange-colored quartz, and fine specimens of spessartine and stibnite.
Typically, one side is covered predominantly by hubeite with minor inesite
and apophyllite, whereas the other side consists of approximately equal amounts of hubeite, pink inesite
and white apophyllite (Fig.
The other mineral of interest from China was fine inesite
showing great promise.
Given that these are green secondary copper minerals in ore matrix, it is surprising that they come from the same locality that has lately been producing the radically different-looking specimens of pink inesite
, colorless apophyllite, and brown hubeite: the Daye mine in Hubei province.
Another French dealer with Chinese material had an excellent selection of the normal Chinese things, in addition to which he offered a new find of pink microcrystalline inesite
, the best specimen being a 15 x 20-cm vug with beautiful glistening pink microcrystals.
Nearby is another small Mn deposit known as the Monte Nero mine; in recent times (late 1990's) good inesite
specimens have been collected there (Marchesini and Palenzona, 1997).