Phosphophyllite / (classic “butterfly” twins) / Locality - Huayllani mine, Infiernillos mine, Machacamarca District, Bolivia


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This specimen is from the recent finds in the Machacamarca mining district in Bolivia. It is not from the typical Bolivian locality at the Unificada mine in Potosi. Phosphophyllite is one of the most rare and beautiful species in the mineral world, and arguably, the one most desirable phosphate species extant. It is not only highly sought after, but in recent years has been dubbed the "Holy Grail" of mineral species for collectors. Many collectors and dealers alike treasure this species for its immense scarcity and immeasurable combination of form and color. There are only a few localities in the world in which fine quality crystals of Phosphophyllite occur. The type locality is in Hagendorf, Germany, where the crystals rarely exceeded 6 mm in length. Over 50 years ago a second, and much more significant discovery was made in Potosi, Bolivia. This find produced some of the most spectacular, intense blue-green color, "butterfly"-twinned crystals up to 15 cm on matrix !! A second important locality for Phosphophyllite has since been discovered in Bolivia, and it did a great deal to bolster the number of Phosphophyllites on the market. This particular piece features dozens of exceptionally rare, fairly sharp, translucent, green color (partially iron-coated), euhedral crystals with classic "butterfly"-twins. The twins on this specimen are some of the largest I’ve seen from the locality, and this particular piece was one that I held back when I first purchased these specimens in anticipation that more were on the way. Sadly, very little followed, so I decided to take out this beauty and put it up for sale. It goes without saying that specimens of Phosphophyllite with crystals this size can be exceptionally pricey in some cases. We have all seen pieces in the past offered for many, many thousands of dollars, although this piece is not of the same calibre. It is however a good quality display specimen from a very exciting new find, which hopefully could one day produce specimens of the same size and quality as those from Unificada ! Please note that specimens of Phosphophyllite simply are NOT seen in today's market, in ANY format. Do not miss out on this piece as few seem to have been found, and very little is coming out if any at all right now.

Locality: Huayllani mine, Infiernillos mine, Huayllani, Machacamarca District, Saavedra Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia (new locality for Phosphophyllite in Bolivia)

Specimen Size: 3.3 x 2.1 x 1.7 cm (miniature)
Largest Crystal: 2.3 cm

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