Very nice cluster of crystals up to 1.2 cm.
ex. John and Linda Stimson
A fat, 1.7 cm triangle perched perfectly upright on sparing matrix! Beautiful and elegant thumbnail! The crystal, as manyare, has some natural crackin gwithin it, on the right edge, and a possible repair there as well (hence the low price), but is still visually a pretty good piece.
WOW! I hardly need to say that these are EXTREMELY large benitoite crystals, and very thick, and have a sizable gem rough value to them. I was able to obtain this from the former co-owner of the benitoite mine, Bill Forrest: he tell sme it was mined sometime in the early 1980's . It was in a small area that produced several very large and gemmy crystals. One crystal of this group cut a 10 ct. gem. However, as he put it , "This is one of the larger crystals, so I decided to hold on to it till now. Most benitoite crystals don't have the luster and depth that this one has. It also has 2 large clear areas that will cut two ct. to three ct. gems minimum. With the conditions at the Benitoite Gem Mine I don't think anything like this will be coming out in the future, obviously. " Personally, I have seen only one other for sale from this pocket, a well-known toenail-sized specimen that was in the Frank Knechtel collection and is now in the Irv Brown collection. This specimen is more large and has a deeper blue color, which is really quite remarkable in person. The overall impact of the piece is beyond its actual size, and this all aside from the intrinsic value of several large stones which could be cut from the gemmy tips. The specimen is 4 cm along ht ediagonal front , or longest, edge top to bottom. It is 2.5 cm across if measured lengthwise at longest. It IS a full miniature, if on the smallish end. But, the crystals really transcend the size of the overall piece. I do not think you will ever see anything like this again on the market.
ex. John Sinkankas
ex. John and Linda Stimson
This important benitoite is , at least, one of the largest, complete crystals ever found for the species! It is complete all around and has good form, given that larger crystals tend to be distorted. It is included, and so opaque. It was mined in 1969, went to Bill Larson, and then to John Sinkankas where it stayed for many decades. Its not gemmy by a long shot due to heavy inclusions of glaucophane (so says John). But, it is complete, and shocking in size once you realize what you are looking at! I am told there are several others of comparable siz ein existence, but I have not seen any such for sale, nor any myself in collections.
ex. Marilyn Dodge
A nice specimen simply for the good Benitoite and Neptunite, add the two lustrous little Joaquinites (to 1mm), and now you have an excellent representative specimen for the species.
ex. Irv Brown
This is a single, translucent, dark blue, benitoite crystal with fine luster. It has large gemmy areas. Given the weight, its a certainty that you could cut stones from this and make a buck (probably worth $1500-2000 cut up) but I prefer to leave it as an unusually fine loose gem crystal! It has EXCEPTIONAL lustre and rich blue color!
ex. Irv Brown
This mineral is found in crystals only in California, where it represents a rare form within the hexagonal system, the ditrigonal-dipyramidal crystal shape. This sharp dark blue crystal, perched on matrix, is well formed, slightly transparent, and has good luster. The crystal measures 1.6 cm across. One termination has been repaired, but does not affect the visual quality of the specimen although it lowers the price from $2000 or so in my opinion. Still, displays like a killer and you have to look close to notice the repair.
ex. Ernie Schlichter
This plate of black neptunite and blue benitoite crystals on white natrolite is one of the nicest I have seen in years for its price and size range. The neptunites reach 3 cm in length and are EXTREMELY sharp and lustrous. The largest benitoite measures 1 cm across with good luster and is tha tmost rare thing, a complete triply-terminated crystal perched smak dab on matrix, staring you in the face. Smallish perhaps, but of great quality and some gemminess as well. In addition, there is a rare, tiny 0.5 mm, brown, joaquinite crystal in the right center of the specimen. If the crystals stood more vertically, this would easily be a multi-kilobuck piece.
ex. Bill Forrest
Imagine the color of top quality sapphire combined with the dispersion of a diamond! That's the allure of this rare collector's stone from the United States (in fact, it's the state gemstone of California, so makes for a unique conversation piece). Benitoite is a very rare TITANIUM-containing species that comes in large crystals only from this one aberrant geological district. The mine is closed, so good sized gems will always be rare commodities in the market. This is a very desirable square cushion cut that is superbly bright and clean and about as good as you can get for the species in absolute quality. From the collection of former mine owner Bill Forrest. We have seen quotes on pieces of this quality , and size, at $10,000 per carat retail.
ex. Bill Forrest
Benitoites of excellent gem quality and transparency rarely exceed two carats, and few that do have such good color saturation combined with the gemminess. Most stones tend to have one or the other. This is an impressive brilliant oval that is very bright and has good clarity as well. It is big and impressive. Rough-and-cut sets make fabulous displays and this would fit into such a set, or it is of a hardness that makes it also perfectly wearable for jewelry. It will look like a sapphire in color with the brightness of diamond, in a setting. A classic rarity that will be difficult to replace as the deposit is unique in the world, and is now more or less stripmined and depleted. From the collection of former mine owner Bill Forrest. We have seen quotes on pieces of this quality , and size, at $10,000 per carat retail.
ex. Bill Forrest
Our largest gem of the species here, and certainly the most saturated color. This is a riveting, intensely saturated deep blue trillion cut that is nearly clean, and really comes to life and impresses under lights. It has strong display presence and the brilliance of a diamond. Imagine the color of top quality sapphire combined with the dispersion of a diamond! A few small feathers are not visible except under a loupe or in the hyper-high-resolution shot shown here. That's the allure of this rare collector's stone from the United States (in fact, it's the state gemstone of California, so makes for a unique conversation piece). Benitoite is a very rare TITANIUM-containing species that comes in large crystals only from this one aberrant geological district. The mine is closed, so good sized gems will always be rare commodities in the market. From the collection of former mine owner Bill Forrest. We have seen quotes on pieces of this quality , and size, at $10,000 per carat retail.
ex. Irv Brown
This fine miniature has two crystals in excess of 1.6 cm, and a smaller sidecar crystal to the right, as well. Actually, it can be displayed from a number of directions. For the price, it offers a well-balanced miniature with relatively large crystals. The color is also very good on this one, truly blue instead of the more usual steely-blue-gray
Benitoite is actually a rare titanium species caused to show itself to collectors in the northern California mountains because of a freak flip of the bottom end of a crustal plate, from the mantle contact to the surface. I am told the deposit is totally unique - and certainly it is the only known locale for good crystals of the species. Recently, another dealership converted the once famous hill into a shallow depression, mining out most of the core of the deposit. Specimens o good quality are ow available at reasonable prices on the market, in some abundance. However , this is not just a normal quality, nor a modern piece. Here is a very showy, palm-sized plate of intense, deep blue , pseudo-triangular benitoite crystals I recently purchased from a private collection deaccession. The crystals are naturally bright and GEMMY, not just blue. Crystals are uniformly sharp and the two largest are 2.3 and 1.9 cm tall. A sharp, eye-visible and bright brown joaquinite is a bonus association for those who care (at about .5 mm in size), in the middle of the plate. Most this size are opaque, but these crystals actually have transparent tips and translucent edges - and in fact, I was told by a gem cutting friend there are several carats of rough material in the better crystals here (including a 1 carat gem that could be obtained out of the tip of the large crystal). It is hard to emphasize more the sheer quality of the major crystals on this piece, really - they are all you could ask for in classic benitoite, now the California state gem even as the deposit is nearly exhausted. It is surely an older specimen (little of this quality in this size was found after the mid-80s). It has been some time since benitoites of any real quality were seen in abundance. Most specimens today are simply smaller, duller crystals, than the intense deep blue color I have seen in old collections. Of course there are exceptions, but the bottom line is that truly fine benitoites are a thing of the past, and few can be had today despite the veritable strip mining of the locality to go after specimens in quantity. To this end, I buy any really great one I can get ahold of, especially larger pieces: This is , for me, "investment grade mineralization" though some turn their noses up at buying certain species for investment. Nevertheless, show me another unique gem species from one locality in the world (now exhausted) that is also a state gemstone, and forms incredible sharp blue triangles! Joe Budd photos
ex. Martin Lewadny
Long postulated but not discovered until 1907, the strange titanium mineral Benitoite has turned out to be one of the gems of the mineral world for its rarity and beauty. These nicely-paired triangular crystals. which range up to 1.5 cm in size, have the classic form and color, with good to excellent luster. A very fine miniature with dramatic display and a value for the price range, i think. This deposit is basically mined out, now!
7.5 x 6.7 x 3.6 cm. A SUPERB, old-time benitoite on natrolite specimen. Deep, indigo-blue crystals to 2.2 cm richly cover beautifully contrasting snow-white natrolite. Some of the benitoites are quite gemmy and lustrous. This fine piece was in the personal collection of Pete Bancroft. It is classic of older material from the pre-1970s era of collecting here with fatter, darker-colored crystals.
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