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Topaz Mountain, Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, USA
Miniature, 4.6 x 4.4 x 1.6 cm
A complete floater with GEMMY , glassy lustre and superb form! All tips are pristine, and it has a sparkle in person not coneyed in the pictures. The minute inclusions of metallic hematite throw off specks of light, an dcontrast, that are interesting and accent the sherry topaz color. An older specimen from this classic locale!
Topaz Mountains, Juab County, Utah, USA
Miniature, 5.0 x 4.6 x 2.8 cm
A contrasting rhyolite matrix is the host for an unusual combo specimen. Splendent, jet-black crystals of bixbyite to 1.5 cm across are associated with gemmy, sherry-colored topaz crystals to 1.2 cm in length. This is one of the more desirable combinations from the Thomas Range. Seldom do you see so much bixbyite on one specimen, though, and with topaz as an association to boot!
Sakangyi, Mogok, Burma
Miniature, 5.3 x 3.0 x 2.3 cm
This is a limpid, glassy and gemmy champagne-colored topaz from Mogok. It has an unusual, complex termination, and the prism faces clearly exhibit growth striations and etch patterns both. This is literally a "jewel" in how it presents. The mass is 56 grams. It is comparable in form to some recent topaz from Argentina a few years ago, but this has more color saturation. From the Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, who has for decades brought out gems and then minerals as this region opened up to the trade in specimens.
Sakangyi, Mogok, Burma
Miniature, 5.2 x 4.8 x 3.3 cm
Limpid and totally gemmy, this large face-centered, champagne-colored topaz crystal is smuch better in person because it is so glassy and clear, it is hard for the camera to focus! It is nearly pristine, save for a tiny ding on the right side of its large face. Contact at the base is common since the miners just pop them off their matrix, but the crystal itself is complete all around. I could gaze at it for hours at a time and not see all the details..it really just is THAT much cleaner and clearer in person. We have seldom had so much difficulty photographing a good gem crystal. The mass is 166 grams. Superb! From the Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, who has for decades brought out gems and then minerals as this region opened up to the trade in specimens.
Sakangyi, Mogok, Burma
Miniature, 4.7 x 4.1 x 3.3 cm
If anything, this limpid and champagne colored topaz crystal is even gemmier than the previous one, just a bit smaller. It is face centered and clearly exhibits its perfect basal cleavage where it was removed from its matrix at bottom.. It has beautiful form , just classic; and is pristine save for a few tiny chips at the crystal edges mostly located on the left side (for which the price is now lowered even though it still has great impact in person). A classic topaz in form, color and beauty! The mass is 110 grams. From the Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, who has for decades brought out gems and then minerals as this region opened up to the trade in specimens.
Sakangyi, Mogok, Burma
Cabinet, 13 x 11.4 x 7.9 cm
This very large combo specimen is composed of a 13 cm-long colorless quartz crystal attached to a doubly-terminated, glassy and gemmy, light champagne-colored topaz measuring 7 cm in length. The asssociation is unlikely, in such size and geometry, but there you have it. The topaz is actually complete, with an old break on the bottom grown over by later deposition of topaz. The basal termination on the bottom now is "healed", and it features many individual faces.The top termination is crystallographically interesting with its sharp steep faces in which you can find pyramids, prisms and a dome shape. There is very minor and insignificant bruising on the lower right hand side of the topaz. This is a major combo specimen from Mogok that weighs 824 grams (over 2 pounds). From the Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, who has for decades brought out gems and then minerals as this region opened up to the trade in specimens.
Sakangyi, Mogok, Burma
Small Cabinet, 6.7 x 5.8 x 3.2 cm
Erupting straight up from two glassy and gemmy, colorless quartz crystals to 4.5 cm in length, is a limpid, glassy and gemmy, colorless topaz crystal. This gem is bright and pretty - 2 inches (just over 5 cm) in length in total. The topaz is superbly centered high on its matrix. The mass is 114 grams. From the Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, who has for decades brought out gems and then minerals as this region opened up to the trade in specimens.
ChangLongXiang Tungsten Mine, Ganzhou, ChongYi Co., Jiangxi Prov.,China
Small Cabinet, 7.0 x 5.5 x 3.7 cm
An elegant and beautiful combo piece from a rare locale! Two lustrous and translucent, colorless quartz crystals to 7.9 cm in length are literally draped with lustrous and translucent, richly purple-colored fluorite crystals to 1.5 cm across. The larger fluorites clearly exhibit the phantoms and the classic stepped growth and microdetail of surface patterning, often seen in fluorite from Elmwood in Tennessee. Collected 2005-5-24th, and from a prominent and carefully assembled collection of Jiangxi minerals with precise localities. Surprisingly, in a very rare association, there is a 1.5-cm TOPAZ crystal intergrown with and embedded by fluorites, near the base of the specimen.
Small Cabinet, 8.4 x 2.8 x 2.2 cm
A bizarre specimen! The piece consists of an original crystal of topaz that was replaced by danburite (as confirmed by XRD analysis at Cal Tech), followed by a SECOND deposition of topaz, that then overcoated the old topaz crystal now replaced by danburite. Thus the phantom within is actually not topaz any longer despite first glance thoughts. I should say this was mined pre-embargo and has long been in the noted Mogok suite of gem and mineral dealer Bill Larson, who more or less opened up this region for minerals in the last decades. Recently exchanged to me.
Dassu, Haramosh Mountains, north of the Skardu Road, Gilgit Division, Pakistan
Miniature, 4.8 x 2.6 x 2.4 cm
A really unusual miniature topaz specimen with "pizzazz," in that it is not just your typical gemmy miniature but has the bizarre growth effect called a screw dislocaiton running through its center and popping up in the top, right in the middle, where the screw dislocation raises the surface point of that portion of the crystal above the rest. It is incredibly hard to photograph , given the clarity of the crystal overall but internal fractures that reflect light and make it look fuzzier than it is in person. But trust me, this is a GREAT example of the effect and it is more commonly known in BERYLS. A screw dislocaiton in TOPAZ is much , much more uncommon. The crystal is pretty good on its own merits (gemmy, lustrous, undamaged), and even without the interesting "defect" would be worth $750 anyhow.
Pedro Azul Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 16.1 x 13.8 x 3.8 cm (1.5 kilograms)
This slender, elongated topaz crystal is REALLY UNUSUAL! It is a big piece, 6 inches across and the weight of about 4 pounds. However, it is also elegant in a way. The subtle etching atop makes it look like a frozen waterfall. It is completely transparent and more so in person than the pics indicate as they reflect n a few slight internal flaws or inclusions of iron oxide. In person, this is bright and glowing. It is actually complete ALL AROUND, even on the backside, except for a few small spots of damage which are really hard to discern amongst hte subtle etching and growth patterns anyhow. This piece, I am told, was found prior to the 1970s and comes from an old collection in Brazil
Maynard Claim, Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah, USA
Miniature, 5.5 x 4.4 x 2.9 cm
This is quite simply one of the most dramatic "topaz crosses" I have ever seen, collected probably in the 1980s or early 90s when this remote claim was worked more actively by a group including a few Dallas investors. The cluster is PERFECT and pristine. It is RAZOR SHARP. The tips and the parts that matter are gemmy although the interior is, as is typical, included with sandy. Note the little bright rosettes of metallic hematite which have replaced the garnet previously there. Just a SUPERIOR miniature that I think will stand the test of time.
Sakongy, Mogok, Burma
Small Cabinet, 9.2 x 5.8 x 5.5 cm
A remarkable gem crystal that is even more impressive in person, as the combination of gemminess and ultra high lustre is hard to convey in photos. At 770 grams, and with superb glassy lustre and windowpane-clear gemminess, this fist-sized gem crystal is already fairly worthy of a major collection of trophy gem crystals. It is complete all around, as near pristine as one could wish for, and just sparkles with both external lustre and internal "brightness" to the crystal itself that is so characteristic of the Mogok topazes, and puts them ahead in showiness (to my mind) of comprably sized Pakistani topazes of similar hue. But beyond this sexy exterior, it has a really neat intellectual aspect as well. if you look at the termination, you will see a very unusual pattering, a slight matte or altered surface on part of the face that looks as if it were flat-lapped on with a polisher. This is not the case, and i fact it was to study this peculiar phenomenon in topaz morphology that Dr. Federico Pezzotta of the Museum of Milan travelled here to personally see the deposit when this pocket came out. He suspected that work on these strange differences of topaz surface within a single crystal face here could reveal something more about how the crystals form, and how some topaz has alternating faces of different textures. This is the largest and most dramatic of the specimens from this deposit he tells me that he has seen (and he took it from the mine personally, so we know it has not been tampered with), with the surface effect in question. And it is, on close inspection, a very interesting aberration even i I do not understand the mineralogical science behind it - all set upon a crystal that already is a high level for its species and locale. Joe Budd photos
Maynard's Claim, Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
Miniature, 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.4 cm
This is a rare cluster of GEMMY "gem crystals" showing unusually complete clarity without the inclusions of rhyolite matrix that so cloud them up. There is a slight contact on one back edge, as you can see in the upper-right photo, but the piece displays best with that to the rear anyhow and is otherwise symmetrical and complete all around. This is a near-floater cluster with a small bit of attached matrix, but showing clearly both terminations on the main crystal. These crystals Charlie had put away back in the 1960s after a good trade with dealer A.L. McGuiness, they simply GLOW with color and are, for combination of color and clarity, the finest I have seen for sale. This piece is a floater with a small bit of attached matrix in the cluster. The quality is simply AMAZING and the glassy lustre combined with intense color is , no hyperbole here, stunning and absolutely first rate. NOTE: This specimen was featured in the 2008 AMERICAN MINERAL TREASURES EXHIBITS at Tucson, and retains its custom label from that megashow exhibition. Joe Budd photos
Miniature, 4.6 x 4.5 x 3.1 cm
A truly clear topaz , with brilliant internal gemminess as well as external glassiness. In person, this large and sharp crystal is much more stunning because the photos make it hard to distinguish its true 3-dimensionality, and blur front and back because of the sheer clarity. The crystal is complexly modified atop, on some edges, by solution effects. It is, in person, MUCH better, I can say. The bits of attached matrix to the back add a bit of contrast
Dassu, Haramosh Mountains, Skardu District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Miniature, 4.5 x 2.4 x 2 cm
Large, very attractive single crystal of Topaz, with associations. The Topaz is almost completely gemmy, with a luster that ranges from silky to superb (face dependent). The Topaz is 4.6 cm tall and has a mass of approx. 60 g. The crystal rests on euhedral Feldpsar, and included in the Topaz is a 2 mm Spessartine. Overall, this is an aesthetic, and quite unusual, specimen.
Shigar Valley NE of Skardu, Baltistan, Pakistan
Miniature, 3.2 x 2.7 x 2.3 cm
Gorgeous, very atypical Topaz from Shigar valley in Pakistan. This sinegle, doubly-terminated Topaz has mulitpkle teminations at each end, almost as if it was being etched as it grew, to create an amazing visual effect. It looks like paired sets of gemmy, sherry-colored mountain ranges, and sharp, Himalayan peaks, at that. This is an aesthetic bargain, for how neat it is.
Mimoso do Sul, Espirito Santo, Brazil
Small Cabinet, 7.4 x 6.7 x 5.3 cm
This is a fine, near pristine, aesthetic cluster of three glassy and gemmy, colorless topaz crystals. The largest is an equant crystal measuring 5.5 cm in every direction. Near the base of the large crystal are four parallel (internal) lines exhibiting the perfect basal cleavage of topaz - interesting contrast to the geometry of the outside crystal. The piece is complete all around and has a sparkly, glassy appearance to it that is very attractive. This is an excellent example of a quality specimen from the heyday of Brazilian minerals. 386 grams. Obtained in 1995 from a major Brazilian dealer, but it probably dates back to the 70s or before , by style.
Solar Wind Claim, Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
Thumbnail, 2.0 x 1.6 x 1.6 cm
This specimen features a very equant, lustrous, sharply formed bixbyite perched upon a natural pedestal of topaz and smaller bixbyites. This is a rather large bixbyite crystal, about as big as you can get and be perched upon something, matrix or association, and yet still be a competitive thumbnail size. Obtained from the collector, John Holfert, approx. 10 years ago
Ouro Preto, Brazil
Thumbnail, 9.1 x 6.1 mm ; 2.20 carats
The deposits around Ouro Preto have produced what are some of the most colorful and widely recognized Topaz in the world. The color of these pieces earned them the name "Imperial", and is oft deserved. Topaz is one of those gems that gets darker with larger stones, so little stones don't have the saturation that a larger stone typically has. This gem is a very attractive Imperial Topaz with a characteristic orange color that is associated with this material. The stone has an "Emerald" cut and is virtually eye clean. These gems are becoming harder and harder to obtain since so much of the material never reaches the open market.
Tepetate, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Small Cabinet, 5.9 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm
This is a rather large, glassy and gemmy, sherry-colored topaz from Tepetate. The whitish mass at the termination is a cluster of spheroidal hyalite opal, which fluoresces. Many such crystals were found prior to the 1980s, but now they are seldom seen on the market, even in small size. This one is a monster for the locale, among the largest that I know of, and would be considered a MAJOR Mexican topaz crystal. Comes with custom lucite base already made for the specimen. This specimen was on loaned exhibit in the University of Arizona Museum for over a decade until my purchase of this collection in 2008.
Solarwind Claim, Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
Thumbnail, 2.8 x 2.0 x 1.3 cm
A KILLER 11mm crystal, just beautifully perched on matrix. This is one of the finest thumbs I have seen of the material from here and is world class in quality for lustre and composition. The miute edge bevels, I think indicative of twinning, add a bit of sexy geometry to it! An exceptional piece from miner John Holfert
Thumbnail, 3.6 x 3.1 x 2.2 cm
Another absolutely outstanding topaz, but with just normal color, not QUITE the intense hue aobve, and not QUITE the lustre. Still, a very high calibre, indeed, and I do feel it quite worthy of any good thumbnail collection. However, one must decide if the one above is worth double the price for the extra 10% quality. For some, its not, and this is really VERY close behind. As it is not strictly a thumbnail, it is paradoxically also thus lower in price since it cannot be used in official competition by Tucson rules, in teh thumbnail class.
Toca da Onca pegmatite, Virgem da Lapa, Jequitinhonha valley, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil
Large Cabinet, 16.8 x 13.2 x 6.5 cm
I have seen only a very few blue topaz in matrix from Brazil, and not another such as this, with a sharp blue gem perched on a large quartz crystal! At 8 x 7.5 x 4 cm, the topaz is a good size and significant on its own, and it is literally stuck in a crevasse between two intergrown quartz points. The quartz is terminated, thought etched in back. It is even nearly pristine - just a few very trivial dings mar the large quartz. The topaz itself is pristine and complete all around except for a few very nearly invisible contact points where it attached to another bit of quartz. Even its underside is floating free and clear of the quartz and is roughly terminated, making it a "floater". The top termination is SHARP and has a broad chisel-point termination, leading to razor-sharp, etched side faces. Small bits of sparkling, micaceous-looking lepidolite cling to the center of the topaz and run down its front in a vein , to the quartz. Overall, this is a unique specimen, large and impactful as it sets the topaz high up and easily lit. In fact, the photos do not do it justice. When backlit, the light goes through the quartz and topaz both, and the piece glows. I have not seen another like this, and certainly I feel at the price point, another is unlikely. It could as easily be twice the price, but that I got it reasonably myself in a large specimen, in need of a trim. So we took off a big chunk of massive quartz at the bottom, and now the piece stands quite nicely on its own, and is more balanced.
Solarwind Claim, Thomas Range (North), Thomas Range, Juab Co., Utah, USA
Thumbnail, 2.6 x 2.1 x 1.4 cm
This specimen is a large thumbnail, showcasing a VERY complexly bevelled, sharply terminated, and lustrous bixbyite crystal. The crystal is so jet black and metallic, that photos fail to convey how good it really is in person. The bixbyite measures 1.6 x 1.3 x 1 cm, and is flanked by minor associated champagne-colored topaz crystals, on a bit of rhyolite matrix. Superb thumbnail, with a rather large crystal for the species.
Sakangyi, Mogok Township, Mandalay Division, Burma (Myanmar)
Cabinet, 11.5 x 5.0 x 3.8 cm
This Burmese topaz is exceptional for its size and sharp termination. It has excellent bevelled edges and a killer termination. This crystal is complete all around, and can display from either side. The haze inside is thought to be, I am told, either degenerate danburite enclosed within, or possibly topaz pseudomorph after danburite, a core over which the topaz grew. While decreasing the transparency, the internal complexity adds some visual interest as well. The piece was found in the early 2000's and has been in the personal Burma collection of "Burma Bill" Larson, the gem and mineral dealer who brought out many Burmese specimens and gems starting in the late 1980s. It is 380 grams. It comes with his collection label. Joe Budd Photos.