3.1" Polished Botryoidal Yellow-Orange Smithsonite - New Mexico

This is a botryoidal formation of yellow-orange smithsonite that was collected from the Kelly Mine in Socorro County, New Mexico. The smithsonite was polished revealing the beautiful yellow and red banding beneath the botryoidal surface. This is a relatively new find and one that's sure to turn heads. The Kelly Mine is world famous for its blue-green variety of smithsonite that is rich in copper. This variety has a wildly different coloring that is believed to be due to cadmium sulfide impurities and cadmium replacement in the structure of the smithsonite.

The yellow variety is extremely rare and is most similar in appearance to smithsonite that comes from Sardinia, Italy. Interestingly enough, aside from this new material, almost all of the yellow smithsonite from the Kelly Mine and Sardinia were mined over 100 years ago. The attractive coloring, patterning, and scarcity make these smithsonite specimens highly collectable. Hopefully this pocket keeps producing so we continue to see these outstanding specimens circulating the market.

Smithsonite forms in earthy botryoidal masses, sometimes forming grape-like structures. It can be found as a secondary mineral in oxidation zones of zinc ore deposits, in some sedimentary deposits, and as an oxidation product of sphalerite. The general chemical formula of smithsonite is ZnCO3, however Fe (iron), Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium), Cd (cadmium), Cu (copper), and Co (cobalt) can take the place of Zn (zinc). This potential for elemental variation results in smithsonite's wide variety of colors, including blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, brown, gray, white, and colorless.

Kelly Mine, Socorro County, New Mexico
3.1 x 2.2"