Thumbnail, 3.3 x 3.2 x 1.6 cm (Crystal), 0.87 ct (Gem)
3.3 x 3.2 x 1.6 cm (Specimen); 0.87 carats; 5.82 mm x 5.23 mm (Gem) - Tsavorite is a wonderfully brilliant green colored vanadium-bearing Grossular and the best examples are those from Tsavo National Park in Kenya. I have only seen a handful of crystallized Tsavorites from this locality, but the gem rough produces some amazing faceted stones. The stone that accompanies this set is a fine "Step Trillion" cut gem with what I consider to be nearly the perfect hue of green for Tsavorite as it's not too dark or too pale. It's a lively stone with wonderful overall color and clarity that matches up wonderfully with the gemmy green piece of rough in host rock matrix.
Classic for this area, this small cabinet Chromian Grossular on Diopside is quite attractive in its own way. The mm-size Chromian Grossulars have good luster and a vivid, medium green color. In fact, Grossular forms a series with equally vivid Uvarovite, so I cannot say for certainty what the percentages are here, other than the crystals are attractive either way. They rest on an elongated Diopside crystal, which is lustrous and looks very much like petrified wood. A very good, representative specimen for this area.
Jeffrey mine, Asbestos, Les Sources RCM, Quebec, Canada
Large Cabinet, 16.0 x 9.0 x 4.6 cm
Jeffrey Mine Garnets are considered the best in the world, and this is a fine, representative specimen from the mine. This large plate has dozens of gemmy, light cinnamon Grossulars with classic striations with minor pectolite for contrast. The largest Grossular is 9 mm across. Considering the large number of crystals and the sheer size of the specimen, it is no surprise that the exposure has led to a few dings on some of the crystal corners. However, the overall aesthetics are not really affected, and the size rarity of pieces like this maintains its desirability.
Jeffrey Mine Garnets are considered the best in the world, and this is a fine, representative specimen from the mine. These crystals are gemmy with light cinnamon color and they have the superb striations that so often grace Garnets. The largest Grossular is 1.2 cm across, and it has only a small contact point right on one corner. Otherwise, the piece is in pristine condition, and has good overall aesthetics.
Jeffrey Mine Garnets are the world's finest for grossular variety of the Garnet family, hands down. While the great classic ones are an orange-amber color, there are other fine Grossulars from Jeffrey in rare sporadic pockets that may have greenish or pink, or even no color. The colorless grossulars are particularly rare, and the best find I know of came out in the mid 1990s. This specimen is from the noted Melanson thumbnail collection, and was acquired in 1996 from that find. It is a HUGE single crystal in cluster. In this case, we have a cluster of gemmy colorless-vanilla crystals, the largest of which is 1.8 cm. They have good form, with finely striated faces. The crystals have glassy luster, and are gemmy to translucent. Overall this is a significant thumbnail, if a little unusual, for this amazing (now closed) mine and the species!
An interesting and unusual Grossular Garnet cluster of translucent-to-gemmy modified dodecahedra. The color is the most intriguing - a yellow gold that is subtle, very distinctive, and rarely seen in Garnets from anywhere. The largest Garnet is about 1.2 cm across, with the average crystal being about .4 cm. The piece is from a find at the beginning of 2012, and to my knowledge, is one of only a few that were found. There is a little bit of bruising, but the overall condition is very good, and the aesthetics are also good. I have to admit, this find got by my nose in China and I only saw a few pieces turn up on the aftermarket. I was surprised, and have been looking for more. It seems to have been a one-off pocket, though.
Excellent specimen of large, dark red Hessonite Garnet crystals, emplaced on a garnet-rich matrix. The Garnets have good to very good luster, heavily modified habits with beautifully beveled edges, and they are translucent to gemmy. You can see just how gemmy and rich they are below some of the mirror faces. The largest crystal is a substantial 3.2 cm across, even with contacting along one side. The crystals are in fine condition, with very few actual dings. There is even a band of an attractive, dark blue mineral encased within the matrix. The luster and size of the Hessonite Garnets make this specimen a fascinating piece with good aesthetics.
The finest Grossular Garnets in the world come from the Jeffrey Mine, and this is a fine example of why (even if in miniature size). The crystals have good color, fabulous striations, and glassy luster and gemminess. The largest crystal is 1 cm across, and it is partially contracted in the back. An aesthetic, representative specimen from Jeffrey.
A choice thumbnail composed of classic Jeffrey Mine Garnets. They are gemmy, a beautiful amber-orange in color, and have the classic striations on the stepped faces. Even better in person, but you can tell why Jeffrey Mine Garnets are considered the best in the world.
A rare replacement, classic for this locality! This is a super specimen with a large, 3-dimensional, sharp crystal at the top of a cluster of smaller ones. The Grossular garnet has completely replaced a former epidote crystal cluster. Diopside crystals deposited later, accent the termination. Although there is a slight contact to the right side of the replaced epidote termination, the termination is basically complete, and sure looks complete at first glance. Again, it is a very choice example for the style because of the sharpness of crystal habit here. Ex. Ken Hollman Collection
Garnet comes in virtually every color of the rainbow. A few years ago, Mali was producing some very attractive light green Grossulars (along with yellow, golden and brown gems), but it seems as though this material has disappeared from the market in recent years. This stone looks very similar to the material from Mali, but came labeled to me as being from Kenya from a very reliable source. This gem is virtually eye clean and has a nice green color with a Pear cut. I think that this is a very underappreciated gem, and this color is not seen very often in Grossular so don't miss out.
Mana Mine, Barang, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 8.0 x 7.5 cm
This relatively recent new locale has produced the largest non-spessartine garnets I have yet seen from this part of the world. We see the wine-red spessartines occasionally, but this is hessonite. The color is an unusual peachy-orange hue in person, quite distinct from most garnet and reminiscent of some Jeffrey Mine material. The luster is medium, not glassy, but the faces are sharp and the big crystal here is 4 cm across and looks like a faceted golfball on matrix. I believe this to be a fairly major Pakistani garnet specimen, in impact and size. Collector, Gene Meieran bought this directly from a source in this part of the world, and recently passed it on to me by exchange from his own collection. Joe Budd photos
Mana Mine, Barang, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 5.3 x 5.0 cm
Crystals to 3 cm form a beautiful knoll of solid garnet here, complete all around but for only very minor contact points on a few minor crystals. These really bright, orangey-red garnets have been trickling out of Afghanistan now for the last year. Except
Glassy, transparent, richly colored garnet crystals to 1.5 cm make this a beautiful plate from the classic, now closed locale. The specimen literally formed as a "plate," coating a wall in situ. So it is minutely crystallized around the back, though it looks flat there. The brightness of the piece, and the size of the garnets, give it a good impact in a case. From an old French Canadian collection, being sold off at Tucson 2011. Joe Budd photos
A totally gemmy, 3-dimensional, 1.6-cm garnet crystal crowns this beautiful plate from the classic, now closed locale. The specimen literally formed as a "plate," coating a wall in situ. So it is minutely crystallized around the back, though it looks flat there. The brightness of the piece, and the size of the garnets, give it a good impact in a case. From an old French Canadian collection, being sold off at Tucson 2011. Joe Budd photos
Mana Mine, Barang, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 5.5 x 5.1 cm
To my mind, this small locality has produced a trickle of what have to be rated among the finest examples of Hessonite garnet in the world. Most people do not even know the mine name for sure - I have seen smaller pieces trickling to the market under a variety of locality placements. And, most specimens are partial crystals or clunky matrix pieces with small crystals. This aesthetic, impressive display piece is 3-dimensional and has fat crystals, symmetric as you can wish for, wrapping around. The central crystal is 3.5 cm and is fully terminated on the back of the piece, as well. In fact, the whole backside is complete and showy, just with a few very minor bits of edge wear showing while the front is pristine. It is more transparent in person I believe, because the photos were not overdone or taken with close lighting which makes the crystals appear more gemmy when more strongly backlit. This is a major specimen, suitable for any collection and, I think, a real treasure from a place where this kind of money does not buy the best aquamarines or tourmaline but can land you something like this that just leaps out of the crowd, to my eye. Joe Budd photos
Vesper Peak, Sultan Basin, Snohomish Co., Washington, USA
Cabinet, 12.2 x 9.0 x 6.0 cm
Vesper Peak was a legendary locality that was difficult to reach, and difficult to collect. Few large specimens ever came out, and this was self collected by Karl Faddis (we got his collection in 2011). Karl Faddis was a local legend himself, and built a superb collection of self-collected Washington and Northwest regional material. This piece, from his collection, is a whole pocket of brilliantly lustrous, gemmy garnets perched on quartz. Although there is some peripheral damage, the core display area is mostly intact and this is an important locality specimen. Joe Budd Photos.
Sharp, textbook crystals of this intense raspberry-colored garnet measure to 2 cm across on this cabinet piece. Although small pieces and large plates with jumbly masses were around briefly when these came out in the late 1990s, very few larger specimens had quality of aesthetics AND quality of crystals on the same piece. These crystals have a sharp form, saturated color, and are wonderfully isolated on matrix. Few specimens of this quality were found, and fewer still can be had on the market. To this day, these remain a unique, beautiful garnet find that is unlike any found elsewhere. A Mexican classic, but also a very fine and colorful garnet specimen by any standard. ex Dave Stoudt Mexico collection (purchased from me originally in 2007 when it came up to market). Joe Budd Photos.
Crestmore Quarry, Riverside County, California, USA
Cabinet, 14.3 x 8.2 x 3.7 cm
The Crestmore quarry was one of the favorite collecting sites for Al Ordway and this specimen is a good example of the kind of rare material he put away. It features many lustrous and translucent, cinnamon-colored grossular crystals to 1.5 cm across, associated with a few prismatic, lustrous and slightly translucent, diopside crystals (to 2 cm in length). Obtained by collecting it in 1969, according to the label.
Tsavorite is a Vanadium bearing Grossular and was discovered over 30 years ago in Kenya. This material along with Demantoid, is the best green Garnet in the world. Typically this material can be a very light mint green or an undesirably dark green, but this particular gem is a rich, very desirable, saturated, intense emerald green color. Tsavorite has for many years been a rare, high-in-demand gemstone in the retail market, and thus commands a high price due its rarity and beauty. Keep in mind that the top quality Tsavorite in the world only comes from one area and the supply has certainly been dwindling in the last 10 years. This gem is a superb, saturated, nearly eye clean, "Cushion" cut gem and is very good quality.
Toenail – A “gut feeling” but often overlaps between a large thumbnail and a small miniature
Miniature – Maximum 5.0 cm
Small Cabinet – Maximum 9.4 cm
Cabinet – Maximum 18.0 cm
Large Cabinet – Over 18.0 cm
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