Helvite in several styles has trickled out of these garnet mines, for the last 2 years. However, early this year, some really striking pieces came out with both color and a sharp bevelled crystal habit that to me, makes these at least among the finest helvite crystals for the species. I was first offered this material at the Tucson show, where I saw two specimens similar to piece #11 below being offered to me for $10,000 each. These ARE significant, they are beautiful, but i do not believe most of them command that kind of pricing. More may come, but so far I can say that the good ones have been few and far between, and these specimens represent 7 months of buying a piece here or there - none came all at once in any big batch. Certainly, they are more attractive than most helvites, which tend to be on the blackish side. And most specimens I rejected from the same find, also are black or brown. Only a few have the color you see here, so I think that these will not become common in this class, at the least.
This specimen features a textbook crystal with a hexagonal face staring out from the top, and showing more colorful bevelled edges around the edges. It looks like a hexagonal disc perched atop a thumb of matrix. The smaller crystal is 1.5 cm. While this crystal (and most larger ones from this find) do not have the color of the smaller crystals, they do have remarkable form and size. The overall aesthetics on this piece make it a high level miniature.
An imposing and dramatic specimen with a freestanding crystal of 2.3 cm sitting smack atop the apex of the matrix, this is a major helvite! It is complete all around! Other crystals range smaller in size, all culminating and drawing the eye to the peak crystal, however. The overall aesthetics on this piece make it a high level specimen, as does the sharpness and quality of the helvites themselves. The 3-dimensionality , in person, is much more apparent than in photos and this piece literally can be displayed from any side. Spessartine garnets on the matrix make for a nice accent, as well.
A super-colored, translucent, lustrous crystal of exceptional quality for the species, measuring 9mm across. The crystal is freestanding, just hanging off the matrix by a slight contact on one lower face and thus showing ALL of its fine bevelled corner faces. The perch on matrix makes this a very showy miniature.
A super-colorful, translucent, lustrous crystal of exceptional quality for the species, measuring 11 mm across. The crystal is so lustrous, it almost shimmers like a metal.
Two extremely sharp, colorful crystals perched in matrix of feldspar, dotted with unusual green microcrystals of some kind of muscovite species. Largest crystal is a hair over 1 cm. Very aesthetic!
This is a world-class specimen of helvite by any standard. It has one dominant crystal measuring 2.4 cm, end to end. It is, I think, complete, though there is a small growth asymmetry on the rear termination of that one (not seen from the front, anyhow). The other crystals are 1.6-1.7 cm. The large bevelled faces are more lustrous than the side faces. The 3-dimensionality of the display is very striking. Spessartine garnets on the matrix make for a nice accent, as well.
A flashy, very sharp, 12 mm crystal in matrix of feldspar, which is dotted with unusual green microcrystals of some kind of muscovite species.
This sharp, freestanding crystal hangs into a protected pocket and displays three bevelled corners to dramatic effect. It is just over 8mm across, and has excellent color and lustre as you can see.
A sharp, beautiful, 12 x 9 x 6 mm helvite is here perched inthe middle of a feldspar matrix, with a gem smoky quartz atop for accent. Very nice combo piece!
This is perhaps my own personal favorite of all here, price and size aside, for the aesthetics and the quality of the helvite itself. The helvite sits at the junction of a sculptural cluster of felspar crystals, attractively accented by muscovites. This helvite crystal has LUSTRE, a sheen almost metallic in nature, that blows me away. It is 1.5 cm across at widest, and presents fully and dramatically front-and-center. The little freestanding accent crystal is itself about 8 mm and no slouch. This is an elegant exmaple of a rarity on a rock-former, unlikely in the quality of the combination.
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