This Namibian multi-mineral specimen displays a mass of attractive, gemmy and glassy clear quartz alongside an exceptional semi-botryoidal prehnite, incredibly lustrous, perfectly terminated, luminous pale mint green in colour and measuring 18mm at its widest point. A small, rhomboidal calcite crystal can also be seen jutting out from the centre of the piece and a miniscule 'square' of deep seaweed green epidote is spotted just beside the prehnite. It is a fine gem of a specimen with stunning composition and ideal aesthetics packed into a modestly sized piece, hailing from the renowned Tafelkop mine in the Brandberg Area of Namibia.
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.