This Namibian multi-mineral specimen displays a glistening mass of fine, lustrously shiny clear quartz, gemmy ice white calcite and light mint green prehnite 'sheafs' atop a sturdy basalt matrix. It is dazzlingly sparkly when turned in strong light and a beauty to behold in person. This exquisite specimen is a real beauty from the highly regarded Tafelkop mine in the Brandberg Area, a desirable collectors piece.
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.