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Bead Identification


Dear Donna, Having spent a considerable amount of time in Zambia,
where I bought a great many artifacts, gem rough and beads, I would
venture to say that you have a composite of chrysocolla, malachite
and various oxides which are characteristic of the ores in the copper
belt area. I have some obelisks made of this material as well as a
bowl. I don’t recall ever having seen any of this material used in
beads…they generally always use straight malachite for this
purpose. Lately there has been some Azurite coming from Zambia, but I
have yet to see any that is suitable for lapidary purposes. Just last
week I also received a sample of some material that is a dead ringer
for Turquoise, but I have yet to do some tests on it to verify that
assumption. It is extremely porous and has an anomalous tendency to
display a kind of hackly cleavage plane. The color is excellent. Ron
at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA