Mottramite : PbCu(VO4)(OH), Calcite : CaCO3

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minID: PVD-P29

Mottramite : PbCu(VO4)(OH), Calcite : CaCO3

This image is copyrighted. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.
Dimensions: 110 mm x 92 mm x 60 mm

This Photo was Mindat.org Photo of the Day - 18th Apr 2020

This photo has been shown 639 times
Photo added:12th Oct 2019
Dimensions:3483x2884px (10.04 megapixels)
Date/Time of Photo:9th Oct 2019 11:36:41
Camera:NIKON D3100
Software:Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.0 (Macintosh)
Exposure time:1/25s
Focal Length:60mm
Focal Length (35mm film equivalent):90mm
ISO speed:800

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View Neal Luppescu's Photos View Mottramite Gallery

Discuss this Photo

PhotosTsumeb beauties

18th Apr 2020 15:23 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

This is a hell of a mottramite from Tsumeb.
Congrants Neal.

18th Apr 2020 16:24 BSTLuís Costa

amazing stuff!

18th Apr 2020 18:04 BSTKevin Conroy Manager

This IS a very aesthetic Tsumeb mottramite!   To build on this, could everyone please show us one/some of your favorite specimens from Tsumeb?

18th Apr 2020 18:20 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Kevin, that a marvelous idea. You can not imagine how much I love the most prolific locality ever!
A recently aquired specimen from Level 28.

19th Apr 2020 01:28 BSTKevin Conroy Manager

Wow, that blue aragonite is a stunner!

18th Apr 2020 18:23 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Another one.

18th Apr 2020 18:25 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager


18th Apr 2020 18:26 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Green smithsonite

18th Apr 2020 18:26 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Tsumcorite with smithsonite.

18th Apr 2020 18:28 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

A peudo.
But to be honest, I don't have such a nice mottramite as Neal, unfortunately.

18th Apr 2020 18:30 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

But I think I have a nice alamosite, close to the one of Bill Pinch !

18th Apr 2020 18:56 BSTPaul Brandes Manager

Paul De Bondt Manager  ✉️

Kevin, that a marvelous idea. You can not imagine how much I love the most prolific locality ever!
It surely is a classic locality, but the geologist in me wonders what makes it the most prolific locality out there?

In the meantime, I'll poke around my cabinets to see if I have anything to post...

18th Apr 2020 21:00 BSTDavid Von Bargen Manager

There was a large tonnage of ore in the mine so there was a lot of rock moved during it's life and it is 1600 meters in depth and produced 90 million tons of ore. There is a concentration of some unusual elements in the ore (such as germanium and the arsenic in the ore led to numerous arsenates).
Collecting specimens probably started at least back in the 1920's and the mine manager was interested in collecting minerals and the miners soon found they could sell specimens to German mineral dealers (the mine actively discouraged this later). While the oxidation zone was mined out fairly early in the mine history, two additional oxidized zones were found deeper in the mine.

18th Apr 2020 19:10 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager


In terms of esthetic minerals, it can't be denied that Tsumeb is the summit.
In QUANTITY of minerals found it's probably Clara but they have to be viewed with a binocular, not display specimens.

18th Apr 2020 22:01 BSTPaul Brandes Manager

David touched on it a little, but my comment/question leans more towards the geologic conditions that make Tsumeb so special. What happened geologically at Tsumeb to make it the summit?

18th Apr 2020 22:51 BSTDebbie Woolf Manager

The second oxidation zone mainly, a 'plumbing' accident of nature (Weber, D and Wilson W.E, 1977, Tsumeb! Mineralogical Record: 8(3), 130 pp [Special Issue]).

The first oxidation zone to 300 m level is oxidize by surface water, from this level to 800 m level there is very little oxidization. The 800 m level is the top of the second oxidization zone where ground waters migrating along bedding planes and brecciated strata reached the ore pipe and at 900 m moved downwards saturating and oxidizing the ores more thoroughly than in the first zone giving an abundance of fine specimens perfectly developed.

19th Apr 2020 01:36 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Although Tsumeb Mine produced a great deal of copper ore (and great copper-bearing minerals), native copper specimens were relatively uncommon.   The first one is with calcite.

19th Apr 2020 16:14 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Above is a tarnowitzite (plumboan aragonite) specimen with crystals up to 3.3 cm across.

19th Apr 2020 18:40 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Great specimen Kevin, thanks for sharing.
Another pic show the " Icecream pocket " calcite.

20th Apr 2020 06:16 BSTGabriel Plattes

If I had to run away with one of these, it'd be the alamosite; but if I were gifted with any of the others, I'd be stoked. ;) Gor-ge-ous. 

20th Apr 2020 09:12 BSTAntoine Barthélemy

I'll take the cuprian smithsonite. Thanks Paul ;)

20th Apr 2020 09:03 BSTAntoine Barthélemy

Another mottramite from Tsumeb.

I bought this specimen in spite of its broken "arm". I found it quite amusing to see that Neal also accepted some minor damage on his own piece.

20th Apr 2020 13:48 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Nice specimen Antoine. Thanks for sharing.
Another one with calcite covered preferentially with cobaltoan calcite.

20th Apr 2020 17:04 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Beautiful specimens everyone!

Above is a partial pinwheel of zincolivenite crystals.

20th Apr 2020 18:25 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Nice zinc-olivenite Kevin.
I remember seeing such a specimen for sale by the Keller's at Bettingen in Switserland in 1983.
The wheel was almost 4 cm wide and went from one side to the other of the specimen. One of the best " cupro-adamite " I ever saw.
They charged 1250 Swiss Franks for it, quite a nice sum at that time.
Unfortunately, I didn't had the money for it.
Still haunts my nights.
Would be worth a small fortune now !

The posted item is a cobaltoan calcite with wulfenite.

Zenjoy and keep safe.

20th Apr 2020 20:48 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Nice combo!   Just wondering, is there a pseudo on this specimen?

21st Apr 2020 08:07 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager


Glad you spotted it. Nice catch. I have this specimen since the early 80's.
I don't know if it's a pseudo but there is a crystal underneath.
Looked at it and it's a tertagone, a triangular crystals with truncations, a bit like a tennantite crystal but there are no sulphides in the matrix.
The green mineral seems to be duftite.

Ad another specimen before breakfast.
Paradamite from level 44, zinc pocket.

Zenjoy and keep safe.


21st Apr 2020 10:11 BSTGabriel Plattes

A cadmium smithsonite, 9 cm. 

24th Apr 2020 16:37 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Nice bright smithsonite Gabriel. Thanks for sharing.

I post an aragonite from the 28th level.

Zenjoy and keep safe.


25th Apr 2020 19:44 BSTAlex Homenuke Expert

Thought I would add to the thread this blue smithsonite. It is not a highly aesthetic specimen, but the colour certainly makes it interesting. I purchased it off EBay in 2004 from MTminerals (I think this was part of Astro Gallery). It is 13 cm. x 7 cm. The groundmass is a siliceous breccia (chert or arkose?) cemented by green smithsonite. There are a few small azurite crystals and other unidentifed minerals. I agonized over trimming, but in the end left it whole.
 A second picture shows the goundmass and a small specimen number. Does anyone recognize the numbering style?

25th Apr 2020 19:45 BSTAlex Homenuke Expert

second picture

7th May 2020 14:22 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

C'mon guys.

I swing this topic on again with a great wulfenite.

Keep safe.

7th May 2020 14:24 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

And another specimen, not so common.
First they thought it was heterogenite. It's goethite.

8th May 2020 02:46 BSTMartin Rich Expert

I swing this topic on again
OK Paul here my humble part:
A photo of dodehacedrons of cuprite.

8th May 2020 11:08 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Nice specimen Martin. Thanks for sharing.
Here's a very rich minrecordite with dioptase on dolomite.
Keep safe.

8th May 2020 13:16 BSTGabriel Plattes

I am enjoying these very much, one learns...
This one, smithsonite and wulfenite, ~13 cm, - do pardon the image, - I find fascinating on account of the data provided by the label:
'... | Letzte Ab[b]au | in 1450m - 290E | ...'

8th May 2020 13:56 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Thanks for sharing Gabriel.
That's probably one of the last tonnes of ore extracted. 290E stope.
Here's a leiteite in the form of a frisco icecream. It's 97 mm high.
Enjoy and keep safe.

8th May 2020 14:06 BSTGabriel Plattes

Holy smokes, a monster.
I just purchased one through ebay, a baby by comparison. ;) ~2 cm. I'm hoping for a touch of ludlockite within. Perhaps...

8th May 2020 14:14 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Gabriel, yes it's a monster but a dwarf compared to what the Keller's of Switserland had.
Leiteites the size of an open hand, pure stuff. And they had a few of them.
I tried to buy one at the time ( 1983 ) but they where not for sale as in the personal collection. When I asked them back a while later, they where sold.
Don't know where the are now.

8th May 2020 14:16 BSTGabriel Plattes

Did you land some pictures?

8th May 2020 14:18 BSTGabriel Plattes

Was that the tale of some specimens that went into a vault, and were rediscovered later? Smokin' azurites... I recall that was a Swiss or German family.

8th May 2020 14:46 BSTBruce Cairncross Expert

Well, OK, if you want big here's a 14 cm X 10 cm leiteite (from the Rocks & Minerals 2017 Connoisseur's Column that featured leiteite).

8th May 2020 14:55 BSTBruce Cairncross Expert

Here's a rather interesting specimen Paul. Relates to your picture above of the goethite that was once thought to be heterogenite. This is dioptase on calcite on heterogenite. Field of view is 3.5 cm.

8th May 2020 22:13 BSTJohannes Swarts

Hello Bruce,

That is an absolutely lovely specimen - nicely balanced, great combination of color and luster.

Thanks for sharing!


8th May 2020 14:52 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Thanks for sharing Bruce.
Yep, that the kind of stuff  they had.
Unfortunately, I don't have a pic of their specimens.
Now with digital camera's it's way more easy.
And I'm not the kind of guy asking to take pics of a private collection.

8th May 2020 16:04 BSTGabriel Plattes


8th May 2020 15:10 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Thank you Bruce.
I have a piece of the pocket too.
Here is the bad pic.
Do you have an idea from what level they came from ?

8th May 2020 15:18 BSTBruce Cairncross Expert

Unfortunately I don't know what level these came from Paul. I also see the Tsumeb.com website, although having info on goethite, doesn't mentioned associations of dioptase. I got this specimen of mine in the late 1970s (I think, might have to check my inventory!).

11th May 2020 03:39 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


I'm not sure what the correct term is for the stepped calcite crystals, but I've always liked the ones that are accented with the reddish hue.   This one's 19 cm wide.

11th May 2020 03:42 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


The color of this dioptase much better in person.   Some duftite adds a bit of contrast to this 14 cm wide specimen.

11th May 2020 10:53 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Super nice specimens Kevin, thanks for sharing.

Today I post a skalenohedral smithsonite.

Enjoy and keep safe.

11th May 2020 14:28 BSTDebbie Woolf Manager

Really enjoying all the photos, thanks!

17th May 2020 16:54 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Light bluish-green acicular devilline crystals are scattered on the larger blue azurite crystals.

17th May 2020 16:55 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


Light green cuprian smithsonite has replaced reticulated cerussite crystals.

17th May 2020 18:00 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Thank you Debbie.
Nice specimens Kevin.

Today I post a green smithsonite from the Willy Israël collection, now in mine.
The specimen is 16 cm at the bottom and looks better in person.

Enjoy and keep safe.


17th May 2020 20:56 BSTKevin Conroy Manager

Thanks Debbie and Paul.

The reference to Willie reminded me of another fine dealer of Tsumeb specimens: Clive Quiet.  One year at Tucson I was set up in a room at the Best Western Executive Inn, Clive was set up in the ballroom.  I picked out some pieces at his booth and asked about a discount.  Clive wasn't there, and the guy watching his booth wasn't comfortable giving a price.  I left my card, wrote my room number on it, and said that I would come back the next day to get the price.  After going to dinner and wandering around doing some shopping I reopened my room.  I was enjoying a beverage with some friends, and Clive walked in carrying a couple of flats!  In addition to the ones that I had set back he brought some more specimens that were under the table when I saw his booth!

I miss those days of folks keeping their rooms open until midnight (or later).

18th May 2020 14:51 BSTBruce Cairncross Expert

Hi Kevin,

Your comment about Clive Queit brought back some memories for me. 

In 1991, '92 and '93, I was helping Clive at his stand in the Ball Room at the Executive in. I wonder if it was during one of those years that you happened to pass by and if so, then I'd have been the guy not comfortable giving you prices! Clive did get other people to help him after 1993 so it could have been after I was there. I recall he used to have some truly remarkable Tsumeb specimens for sale at the time. Most of my Tsumeb thumbnail collection was acquired from Clive while he was still living in Tsumeb. He used to send small parcels of minerals to South Africa, to a family member who lived here in Johannesburg, who would then put a a classified advert in the smalls of the local newspaper advertising the minerals for sale. It was always with great excitement that one went to see what was in the latest parcel!

18th May 2020 15:12 BSTKevin Conroy Manager

Hi Bruce,

It may very well have been you that I spoke with!   I don't remember which year this was, they tend to blend together over time...

18th May 2020 16:55 BSTTony L. Potucek Expert

Tsumeb rules.  6 cm azurite I have had for years.  Jeff Scovil photo.

18th May 2020 17:00 BSTTony L. Potucek Expert

Another Tsumeb specimen.  Dioptase on dolomite.  7.1 cm.  Former Prosper Williams specimen via Rod Tyson which I acquired in 1982. Jeff Scovil photo.

20th May 2020 14:43 BSTAndré Heyninck

Cerussite cristal from Tsumeb mine. It measures 3 cm.

20th May 2020 14:54 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Nice specimens Tony and André, thanks for sharing.

I post a cerussite today too.
The rozet is 60 mm high. There are 2 other crystals at the back but unfortunately, they are slightly bruced.
Enjoy and keep safe.

21st May 2020 19:54 BSTDon Windeler

Paul De Bondt Manager  ✉️

There are 2 other crystals at the back but unfortunately, they are slightly bruced.
 If that had anything to do with Dr. Cairncross, it would probably be a good thing.... ;)

Lovely thread, I need to get a Tsumeb pic or two that's worth sharing up on the site!


21st May 2020 20:12 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

No Don and Bruce Almighthy either.

25th May 2020 15:56 BSTKevin Conroy Manager


An 11.5 cm wide reddish brown dolomite epimorph has white rhombohedral calcite crystals on and within it.

25th May 2020 17:13 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Cool specimen Kevin.

25th May 2020 17:27 BSTAndré Heyninck

Co-Smitsonite from Tsumeb.
It weighs 600gr and measures 100x90x15 mm.

28th May 2020 13:05 BSTAndré Heyninck

Dioptase from Marcel Cromphout former collection.

28th May 2020 13:35 BSTPaul De Bondt Manager

Thank you all for sharing.
Today I post also a manganoan smithsonite, ex Willy Israël collection.
Specimen is 115 mm large.

Keep safe.

28th May 2020 13:55 BSTTony L. Potucek Expert

That's a fine specimen, Paul.  Like that one a lot.  Good sized, too.
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