JB16-1715
Beryl var. Emerald
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Rist Mine, Hiddenite, Alexander Co., North Carolina, USA
Large Cabinet, 16.0 x 4.5 x 3 cm
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The North Carolina emerald mines are an important part of US gem lore, having been visited and worked by the great Tiffany's gemologist Kunz in the early 1900s. Intermittent production continued for 100 years, but pockets of good crystals have been an EXTREME rarity. At 281 grams and with no repairs, this complete-all-around crystal is one of the largest ever found at the location. We believe it to be, in fact, the second largest to the one in the Houston Museum, that was ever recovered (and that one is repaired several times while this is not). This specimen consists of one large, slightly etched, double-terminated crystal, perched on a crosswise smaller crystal at its base. The etching is due to solution effects in the pocket over geologic time, and is common for the locality. The color and hexagonal shape are unaffacted. Small rutile crystals are in association, which helps to prove the origin of the specimen. This particular piece was exhibited in the American Treasures Exhibition in Tucson 2008, along with the great known examples from this mine which were in our country's premier institutional collections (Smithsonian, Yale, Harvard, Houston...it is a "who's who" of museums). It is one of the very few significant examples from the locality which remain in private hands, and not yet permanently in a major USA museum. In terms of museum use and historical/cultural value, the piece is a phenomenally important specimen. Comes with custom lucite base for display.