Monthly Archives: October 2010

Citrine From the Congo (Not Zambia)


3¼" gem yellow citrine quartz lightbrary crystals

We’ve been selling citrine labeled Kalumo, Zambia since it first started to come out in 2006.  After doing some research on the correct locality, a correction is in order.  The citrine attributed incorrectly to Zambia is actually from the Congo.  Most of these citrines are composed of large single crystals with much smaller ones clustered around the outside.  Some collectors refer to these as “mother & child” or “lightbrary” crystals.

According to Nick May at Toprocks.com, who supplied me with 20 k a few years ago, this is the correct locality info:

Lwena, Southern area, Katanga Copper Crescent, Katanga (Shaba), Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre)


Good example of cascading Lightbrary crystals

Lwena is the closest village to the mining area, and is located right on theZambian-Congolese border, south of Lubumbashi, about 4 hours drive from anywhere.  Luena, another village in Katanga, is sometimes mistakenly identified as the locality, but it is located over 500 miles NNE of Lubumbashi.

There has been no new material available since 2008.  Even then, there were problems: most of them have a really hard-to-remove coating of iron on them, and at least 60-70% of them tend to have chips on them. Also, it’s not an easy operation (i.e., expensive) getting them out of the Congo, with corrupt borders and difficult transport systems, so not an easy task.

4" fine yellow citrine quartz crystal lightbrary

I have seen all sorts of locations recorded for these…mostly because the guys who were mining them kept it very secret.  They didn’t want anybody to know where it was from …in case anybody else went there to find them.  The most common mis-identification is Kalumo, Zambia, which is nowhere near the actual site.  We mistakenly used this on our labels for several years, so if you purchased one of these specimens from us you should update your information.