Selenite var. Desert Rose

Gansu Province, China
Large Cabinet, 19.0 x 18.0 x 9.5 cm
Start Time: 04/15/2021 6:00:00 pm (CDT)
End Time: 05/01/2021 6:15:00 pm (CDT)
Auction Closed

Item Description

Here is a Chinese mineral style you do not see every day! In fact, while such styles of sand-included gypsum are common enough in the central USA, I cannot recall seeing any large examples of this style from China,. I have seen a few small examples attributed to Gansu Province which makes sense, as it includes the famous Gobi desert region likely to produce them. However, we have no exact locality, nor have I seen a location attribution in the markets in China when I do see small examples of this material occasionally. You can see why they call them "desert roses" in Oklahoma, and they are often on the market for sale here in the States - in the 1-3 inch size range. Bigger than that, you almost never see. And in this size for an individual "ball" aggregate, I cannot recall seeing ANY good ones in good condition, in fact. These form as sand is included in the gypsum crystals as they form in a desert environment, in apparently weird conditions. Although they occur in large deposits when found (at least, in Oklahoma, Mexico, and a few other places we know of), they seem quite rare in nature overall. This is an old Chinese specimen that Fran picked up at a mineral show in the early 2000s, from a direct Chinese dealer at his annual Tucson visit. (As an additional note, and a bit of free advice to those watching, a number of us mineral dealers have learned the hard way that "desert roses" apparently do not make good Valentines Day gifts, if away at the Tucson show during Valentines Day. Culture dictates that it is better to order flowers)