Siglo XX Mine (Siglo Veinte Mine), Llallagua, Bustillo Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia
Although Wavellite is a fairly well-known phosphate species, it is truly only known from a handful of localities in well-crystallized display specimens. The majority of the Wavellites from world localities feature either micro crystals, or incomplete (broken) spheres on matrix. The Bolivian Wavellites, particularly those from the famous Siglo XX mine are among the best in the world due to the fact that they occur with eye-visible spheres that are often very well crystallized and not broken in half. In addition to the good quality of the Wavellites, the Siglo XX specimens are also found with interesting associations and pleasing matrixes. Rarely does one see such a large “ball” of Wavellite like this one, especially considering that it’s not busted on one side. The famous green Wavellites from Arkansas are almost never found with complete spheres like this one! In addition to the amazing condition of the specimen, it has the most interesting coloration which grades from an alluring silvery shade to a pinkish orange hue. If that wasn’t enough, the piece is overgrown by many small, cream colored spheres of Wavellite and a few accenting Quartz crystals. The luster is superior to most from Siglo XX, and the sheer size makes for an amazing Wavellite specimen. It’s difficult to convey that Wavellites of this size and caliber are virtually impossible to obtain from this world-famous locality, and I encourage collectors to not overlook this piece as its one of the most interesting and important single Wavellites that I’ve seen from Bolivia.