(numbered ERONGO09-301 to 340)
selections from a new pocket discovered in August, 2009
of intense blue
AQUAMARINE on SCHORL
from the ERONGO MOUNTAINS, NAMIBIA
A big surprise at the Denver 2009 show was a room full of spectacular, intense blue, unusually big aquamarine crystals for this mountainous region of Namibia. Erongo Aquamarine has hit the market in small lots over the last decade, but seldom has there been a large pocket; and seldom have we seen out of all the different finds such a good combination of color saturation with size and quality. The color here is more saturated and intense than any aquamarine from Pakistan or Brazil, though admittedly the crystals from Erongo are less gemmy. Moreover, most of these have a stylish, very attractive schorl association. I am told that these were extracted with some difficulty from a large chamber struck 35 meters below ground, down a one man-wide shaft. The collecting was limited by the lack of air flow to the pocket, and so apparently these had to be collected while hanging upside down on a rope anchored from above (so I am reliably told). Approximately 100 superb to very fine specimens were recovered and several hundred smaller specimens of excellent quality. Approximately 80% of the pocket, including most of the best specimens (picked by my supplier), went to the Denver show by express courier with only days to spare before the show started! Presented here now are nearly 80 specimens from this remarkable find
Photo 1 : Miner inside the narrow vertical shaft
Photo 2 : Pumping air into the shaft
Photo 3 : Looking down from on top
A superior display specimen, this is stunning in its geometry which hihglights the large doubly-terminated crystal in the center. This cluster is a combination of three aqua crystals, the major of which is doubly terminated, forming a natural and exquisite Y shape (when displayed upright). The aquas exhibit glassy luster with gemmy terminations and rich, blue color - among the best in the find. The largest aqua measures 6.2 cm in length and forms the long right side axis of the Y. Adding to the beauty of the specimen is a cluster of splendent, black, schorl crystals, to 2 cm in length, which give contrast. Shown horizontally, the piece is elegantly impressive as well - but I prefer the vertical orientation, I admit. All of this is emplaced on white massive feldspar. The terminal ends are among the most pristine of the specimens from the pocket and it is a miracle such a freestanding cluster survived intact. Beautiful, unusual and simply elegant, this is one of our favorites of the lot (which I saw over 500 pieces from)! Comes with custom, carved lucite base for display
This is a dramatic, space-filling, 3-dimensional specimen that can be displayed 360 degrees around. A thick crystallized matrix of white feldspar is surmounted by splendent black schorl crystals, to 2.5 cm in length, from which shoot out a number of glassy and gemmy, rich blue aquamarines. Three gem-tipped smaller aquamarines present as accents are dominated by the 6 x 3 x 2.5 cm fat crystal that sits smack in the center of the specimen. It is among the glassiest in the find, and is very fat yet quite gemmy. The termination of the large aqua crystal is nearly pristine, despite its exposure. It is displayable 360-degrees all around because of the quality and stark contrast with which it displays. Clearly, this is another superb aqua specimen and is one of my favorites for the size and price range here. Comes with custom, carved lucite base for display
Aesthetically perched and angled up for display as if placed on a pedestal, is a majestic, fully exposed crystal of glassy, rich blue aquamarine. It is 8 x 2.5 x 1.8 cm in size, thus very thick, and intensely color-saturated. Piled in a dome-like pattern beneath and propping up the aqua on feldspar matrix is a large cluster of splendent, black schorl crystals to 2 cm across (and some small aquas, not all complete, but nice as color accents). Some very minor chipping (characteristic of this pocket) on the terminal edges of the aqua in no way detracts visually, though there is a slight contact on the back of the termination where it seems it grew against feldspar. The piece is really 3-dimensional, and can be displayed from either side view to good effect: showing the aquamarine overhanging diagonally above the contrasting schorl crystal mound. However, the piece can also be displayed frontally, maximizing the impact of the aquamarine as it is head-on to the viewing angle, and you would then see the schorls as accents , poking out from behind the dominating vertical aqua at this angle. Either way, in all 3 display angles, it looks very impressive. Other than the shallow contact, hard to spot anyhow, the termination is complete all around and freestanding, shooting into space from the schorl pedestal. This combination of geometry and association, not to mention the crystal size itself, makes it one of the more dramatic pieces, overall, in the lot and in the find that I have seen (and one of my favorites among several hundred pieces I have seen). Comes with custom, carved lucite base for display
This is an aesthetic and impactful, combo specimen of aqua accented by contrasting black schorl. The large, glassy and gemmy, rich blue aquamarines, to 7 cm in length, form a wide cluster with the dominant fatter crystal shooting up ion the middle and capped by a 4-cm-long gem termination coming out at the viewer. The splayed angles at which these crystals interact make the piece seem larger, more space-filling and more visually 3-dimensional. There are jet black schorl crystals to 1.5 cm scattered about and accenting the aquas. All of this is on a thin crust of white feldspar matrix. As is common to this region, some aqua termination edges do show some minor wear (mostly in situ from the tight pocket conditions). If pristine, it would cost more simply for that reason, but no improvement in overall aesthetics would result; and this wear is quite minor , visually. Despite its open geometry, this is not repaired, as you might think, but came out in one piece. Overall, this is a major aqua specimen for the district and one of the most impressive pieces at the price and size range. Comes with custom, carved lucite base for display
A dramatic contrasting blue on black specimen: a single glassy and gemmy, rich blue aqua measuring 3.5 cm in length is nicely perched on splendent, black schorl crystals to 3.0 cm. One of the smaller aquas is doubly terminated. Other aquas are broken off right at the matrix and provide color accent. This si a very dramatic piece of unusual appeal for the way the single larger isolated aqua leaps out.
Perched,aesthetically, on crystallized, white, feldspar, is a dramatic, upright 4.0 cm aquamarine. It is of the highest quality: glassy luster, gemmy terminations and a rich blue color. However, the termination has a large chip , shallow (a few mm at most) but visible, on half of the basal plane of the termination. Even though the termination of the main aqua has this chipping, this is still a fine combo specimen and dramatic overall - and the piece LOOKS like it is worth the $1000 I paid fo rit, but probably more fairly should sell for the price listed here. It will certainly LOOK more expensive, sitting in a case, and is a bargain display piece for somebody. Nestled in a vug are three, slender, gemmy, aquas that are doubly terminated, as an accent elsewhere on the piece.
Three aqua crystals highlighted by the central robust crystal reaching 4 cm in length, are perched upon a natural pedestal of lustrous black schorl crystals to 2 cm or so. The aquas exhibit glassy luster and gemmy terminations with a rich blue color. Very minor edge chipping is admittedly present but does not detract from the overall visual quality of the specimen , though it is priced down a bit to make up for it (most pieces of any size in this pocket have such small dings anyhow).
The lovely aquas that make up this piece are unusually intergrown, even at their terminations. The combined effect of geometry and color, and big lustrous end terminations, is really striking! They exhibit glassy luster and gemmy terminations with a deep, rich blue color. The crystals reach 3.8 cm in length. As is common, very minor chipping at the terminal edges is present but is very minimal, and really does not detract from what is a most dramatic specimen. As an added bonus, the lower bodies of the aquas are accented with splendent, black schorl crystals. Displayed vertically, in particular, the totally gem smaller crystal just shoots off the top and presents with more pizzazz than most such specimens.
Aesthetically centered and perched on white feldspar matrix are intense blue aquas highlighted by a large 3.5-cm crystal with exceptionally glassy luster and gemmy termination. Framing the aquas are several splendent, black schorl crystals to .7 cm. Very tiny chips on the terminal edges detract only minimally from this elegant specimen, which is a very dramatic, space-filling miniature. Such a robust crystal sitting nicely on matrix is difficult to get in this size range, in fact.
A small bit of feldspar matrix is attached to this single, vertical aqua crystal with glassy luster and gemmy termination along with a rich blue color The termination is pristine. Just a superb small miniature, single crystal, totally representative of this find
This matrix specimen is chock-full of crystals arranged in an aesthetic jackstraw pattern. Emplaced on a white feldspar matrix are a score of splendent black schorl crystals, to 2.0 cm in length. Nestled in and among the schorl crystals are several rich blue aquas with glassy luster and gemmy terminations, including the largest crystal at 5.7 cm in length (as a bonus, which is also doubly terminated). Dramatic contrast of crystal forms and color, and very 3-dimensional!
A cute, propeller-like cluster! Splendent, black schorl crystals to 1.0 cm surround two rich blue aquas to 2 cm in length. The aquas have glassy luster and gemmy terminations and form a wide V pattern.
Emplaced on white feldspar matrix is a single, vertical, rich blue, aqua crystal, to 5.7 cm in length, that has glassy luster with a gemmy termination - dramatic!
Two superb, glassy and gemmy, rich blue aqua crystals, to 4.5 cm in length , cross each other in an X pattern. The crystals have glassy luster and exceedingly gemmy terminations along with a rich, blue color.
Situated on a small amount of white feldspar are two aquas, to 4.8 cm in length, with glassy luster and gemmy terminations along with a rich, blue color. There is minor edge wear on the terminations but it still displays very well. Also attached is the front side of a splendent, black schorl crystal measuring 1.5 cm across. The back side has been contacted.
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