This natural Namibian multi-mineral specimen displays attractive composition with exquisite, mint green sheaf prehnite clustered within a sturdy basalt matrix alongside lustrous, phantom zoned amethyst crystals and thick, semi-cubic calcite, many of which flaunt tiny, vivid rainbows in the light. Towards one side of the specimen is a seaweed green epidote sphere partially covered by secondary crystalline growth and minuscule flecks of epidote can also be seen scattered across the prehnite. Overall, it is an excellent cabinet specimen fit for the discerning collector, hailing from a desirable locality with plenty of unique features to explore.
Prehnite was not only the first South African mineral ever to be described and named, dating back to 1788, but also the first to be named after an individual, its discoverer Colonel Hendrik von Prehn, a Dutch mineralogist and governor of the Cape of Good Hope Colony. It is a hydrated calcium aluminum silicate, light mint to vivid apple green in colour with a vitreous to waxy luster, and many specimens also display an attractive luminous translucenct quality. Typically forming in botryoidal masses of orthorombic, sheaf-shaped crystals, prehnite is particularly aesthetic, often creating unique, multi-mineral compositions alongside epidote, quartz and calcite. Until relatively recently, this mineral was quite a rarity and scarce on the market, though newly found deposits have made it more available and incredibly popular among both collectors and lapidary artists. Much of the classic, desirable prehnite originates from Africa, with Namibia, Mali and South Africa being the best producers of fine collectors specimens, though Australia, China, France and Jersey in the US are also good sources of the mineral.