SMITHSONITE – Namibia – GFS0392
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Pink Smithsonites from Tsumeb are instantly recognizable for their distinctive appearance and beauty. The unique and attractive pink color is attributed, as reported by some influential dealers, to traces of cobalt. This is a stunning small cabinet specimen with superb pink color; the crystals exhibit excellent form and luster, along with internal translucency and a hint of transparency. The three-dimensional structure lends a wonderful display all around to this cluster. Ultimately, this specimen can be considered a rare beauty due to its color, harmonious structure, and perfection.
The cause of the beautiful pink color of Tsumeb’s smithsonite is still controversial. Some experts argue that it originates from the presence of trace amounts of cobalt, while other researchers, analyzing certain samples from Tsumeb, have confirmed the presence of manganese and/or iron as responsible for the pink color. Interestingly, none of the samples analyzed contained appreciable amounts of cobalt, copper, or cadmium. In conclusion, there is a lack of consensus, and what is missing are data from more accurate and in-depth modern studies. For more info
Smithsonite found in Tsumeb, Namibia, is associated with the oxidation zones of zinc deposits. The geological formation involves the alteration of primary zinc sulfide minerals, such as sphalerite, through weathering processes. In the Tsumeb deposit, the primary zinc minerals undergo alteration due to the presence of carbonated waters, resulting in the formation of secondary zinc minerals like smithsonite. The process is driven by the interaction of hydrothermal fluids with the host rocks, creating conditions suitable for the precipitation of smithsonite. Tsumeb’s unique geology, characterized by a complex history of hydrothermal activity, has contributed to the development of vibrant and distinct varieties of smithsonite, including the sought-after pink specimens. The introduction of trace elements, during the formation process, is responsible for the distinctive colors observed in Tsumeb’s smithsonite, adding to its allure among mineral collectors.