Although Wavellite is a fairly well-known phosphate species, it is truly only known from a handful of localities in well-crystallized display specimens. The majority of the Wavellites from world localities feature either micro crystals, or incomplete (broken) spheres on matrix. The Bolivian Wavellites, particularly those from the famous Siglo XX mine are among the best in the world due to the fact that they occur with eye-visible spheres that are often very well crystallized and not broken in half. In addition to the good quality of the Wavellites, the Siglo XX specimens are also found with interesting associations and pleasing matrixes. This is a very impressive specimen of this often overlooked and sometimes underappreciated phosphate. This piece has some of the largest individual crystals of Wavellite that I have seen from Bolivia ! Please keep in mind that this mineral typically forms in very thin needles that create radiating aggregates, but the orthorhombic crystals on this specimen are so distinct and thick for the species that you can clearly see them with the naked eye ! Despite the larger size, I still photographed the crystals under the microscope to better illustrate their quality. This specimen consists of pale yellow, lustrous, sharp crystals in spherical form associated with rarely seen brass colored Stannite crystals and very unusual, small, white "spheres" of Augelite (I had them analyzed), which is extremely rare in my experience. I must stress that the Wavellite crystals are also very gemmy, which is not common for the species. I have never seen the association of these three species from any other mine in Bolivia or the world for that matter. You will have a very hard time finding individual crystals of Wavellite this size from any locality. The quality of the Wavellite crystals on this specimen are as fine as any I have seen from anywhere. This piece is from a one pocket find from 2003, and I have not seen any more like it since that time. I held this one back when the find was made, in the hopes that there would be more. Now I'm fairly certain that there will not be any more of these amazing Wavellite specimens again, so do not miss out on this unique and displayable association specimen.
Locality: Siglo XX Mine (Siglo Veinte Mine), Llallagua, Bustillo Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia
Specimen Size: 9.2 x 6.4 x 2.2 cm (small cabinet)
Largest “Sphere”: 1.1 cm
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Last updated 3 July 2022.
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