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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


This specimen is probably the largest example of tennantite known to date and is from the Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia, the green is a patina of malachite.  The piece was mined in the early 1920's and was formerly part of the Friedrich Wilhelm Kegel collection, which was formed in the 1920's through the late 1930's.  Kegel was an official for the Otavi Minen und Eisenbahn Gesellschaft (the Otavi Mines and Railroad Company, or simply OMEG) and had ready access to all mineral specimens coming from the mine.  The Kegel collection was purchased in 1950 for US$3,800, the funds coming from the Washington A. Roebling endowment.  The collection contained an incredible number and variety of mineral specimens, many of which are still considered our finest examples from this prolific locality in the National Collection.
Photo by James Di Loreto. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH R8534-00
Locality Otjikoto, Namibia

Purchased with funds from the Roebling Fund.

From the Tsumeb mine in Namibia, this specimen may be the largest known example of the mineral tennantite. The green on the surface is a patina of malachite.


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