This is one of the larger crystals I have seen from the locale, from finds of the late 1990s and early 2000s, featuring a freestanding robust crysatl of 4 x 3 x 2 cm. The coloration varies from blue to purplish, depending on the lighting spectrum used. In my office fluorescent lighting, there is distinctly more purple to the blue color shown here. Seldom do you get such large crystals in their natural matrix, though loose ones are seen around. Impressive, and complete all around. Joe Budd Photos.
At approximately 1 inch in height, this is a fairly good-sized ruby crystal by any standard. For Vietnam, where most rubies are resorbed and somehow lumpy it seems, it is of exceptional sharpness. The termination is complete all around, and the crystal is freestanding from the matrix completely and fully exposed on all sides for half its height. The termination is slightly stepped, but sharp and complete, and also lustrous. The surface is waxy in lustre, as with Mogok rubies and unlike Afghanistan ruby specimens. The color is a slightly pink-red hue, that really is very different from the classic hues found historically in Burma (Mogok). Hence, to my eye, it is quite different than a similar crystal from Mogok - which would also cost a lot more money due to the more developed lapidary and wholesale markets there (and in particular, demand from teh Chinese buyers for Burmese ruby for carving material). Thus, in a similarly formed Vietnam ruby, we get really all the benefits we would want in a specimen without competing with the carving market to buy them, at least for now.
ex. Tom Hall
ex. William Larson
The former owner referred to this as a "jolt of color" in his case. This ruby specimen GLOWS with intense color, the color they call "pigeon-blood red" over there. It has also an incredible, waxy but glassy lustre that is hard to describe and I think is unique to great corundums. The sum is, it glows and sparkles in a case, with even minimal lighting to backlight it. The color is also consistent throughout except only a very small crysatl portion; AND you can see the whole specimen is crystallized. Burma rubies of large size are commonly lumpy, but this shows incredibly intricate faces, particularly on the display view. It is a floater, complete all around, if somewhat irregular on the backside. I lusted after this piece as I recall, in Tucson around 2004 when Bill Larson deaccessed this from his extensive Burma collection (certainly the best American collection of gem crystals from that country) and put it out for sale in Tucson. It was the centrepiece of one shelf in his display, as I recall: Just for color, and to attract buyers in. I recall it was priced on request, and frankly I do not believe to this day he really thought it would sell that quickly and wanted to keep it in the end; but it sold three times over on the opening weekend of the Westward Look show. I thought about buying it myself then (a question of budget), and I went back later to negotiatebut it was already gone! 2 Years later, I found myself staring at it in a collection, and recognized it immediately. Now I have it back again, from the Tom Hall collection. Tom is a longtime collector, recently retired from working, who since the 1960s has specialized in colorful miniatures and small cabinet pieces of high quality, trying to obtain the best he could in this size range from major, classic finds. His collection was always small but filled with choice beauties such as this. The piece is a very large miniature at 5.5 cm, but if you tilted it back slightly for display it would meet "competition miniature" sizing. Joe Budd photo.
This is a lustrous and gemmy, deep red crystal. It is nearly complete all around, with just minor contact on the back side. For sharpness and clarity, this is one of the larger crystals of quality we have yet seen. There is some cutting rough in this crystal, as well. Seldom do ruby crystals come out of the ground as sharp and lustrous as from this new locality and this is a steller example of what is so "hot" about it. 21.75 carats
This lustrous and gemmy, lavender colored crystal is also doubly terminated. Two smnall spots of Minor damage or contact is present but do not materially affect the display of the specimen. The color is oddly zoned between part sapphire and part ruby; and in particular more purpley under fluorescent lights and more reddish in sunlight. There is a significant amount of medium-purple colored cutting rough inside this crystal. 33.3 carats
This ruby specimen is composed of several, intergrown crystals with a few small sharper crystals poking out of the top. The lustrous and translucent crystals are primarily lavender in color. The color is oddly between sapphire and ruby and in particular more purpley under fluorescent lights and more reddish in sunlight.
This is an extraordinarily glassy and gemmy, rose-cherry-red crystal of ruby. It is also doubly terminated and nearly complete all around, only with minor contact on the back side. A real gem, this does have some intrinsic cutting value and is as gemmy as any good crystal in this lot! The high price per carat compared to other specimens is due to the fact this is glassier, gemmier, and has such intrinsic value (possibly much more than the specimen value, in fact). 5.4 carats
Perched aesthetically on matrix is a lustrous and gemmy, color-zoned sapphire and ruby crystal, measuring 1.5 cm in length. It is completely freestanding with a fully exposed termination, and is thus one of the best matrix crystals I have seen from the find as yet. Absolutely superb! Even the gemstone dealer I got it from understood the special value of a pristine, dramatic crystal on well trimmed matrix and protected it from harm. The crystal is complete all around. It is gemmy, transparent even with minimal backlighting. As with other specimens from this find, the color varies from more red to more purple depending on light spectrum but this leans mostly to Ruby. A SUPERB matrix ruby specimen!
This specimen features a SHARP doubly terminated, lustrous and gemmy, lavender and red, bicolored crystal atop, that is about 1 cm across. It is very gemmy and there is a significant amount of cutting material here! Minor contact on the back side is insignificant to the display face (a shot from behind is shown in bottom right photo). When backlit, this crystal shows particularly interesting zonation effects. 50 carats - a large and hefty full thumbnail size!
This matrix hosts lustrous and gemmy, lavender colored ruby crystals, to .7 cm across, perched high on matrix. Some peripheral contact is present to the sides of the crystals, hence the low price - but it looks good from the front.
A large, complex, doubly-terminated, crystal. It is lustrous and translucent, lavender to rose-red colored and has a sizable amount of translucent gem rough inside, I would say. The piece leans more to ruby but is obviously zoned and has regions of sapphire as well. 83 carats
This is a rather equant, glassy and gemmy, rose to cherry red, doubly terminated, ruby crystal. The color is very close to the pigeonís blood red, found in rubies. Only contacted at the bottom. This is a SUPERB loose ruby crystal of really quite good lustre and form compared to rubies from any other locality. For this particular deposit, it is more pure red, and more gemmy, than most crystals of this size. It should have a considerable gem rough value within. 25 carats. photos do NOT do this crystal justice!
This specimen literally hosts a "jewel" atop! The dominant crystal is a well terminated, glassy and gemmy, purpley to rose red crystal that looks faceted! It is lustrous and sharp all around. In fact, the very tip of the crystal is facet quality and probably worth quite a bit, if cut. 29.8 carats
A near floater, this doubly terminated SAPPHIRE/RUBY crystal is lustrous and translucent, with a rose red color. It is complete, but irregular in form due to contact constraints during growth. Note the particularly sharp zoning within this crystal. 11 carats
Unusual for THIS locality, here we have a stereotypical ruby crystal of classic hexagonal form and pink-red color. It look smore Russian or Vietnamese in form, but its from teh same place as the odd bicolors and pure intense rubies we have seen come from Winza lately. Nicely doubly terminated, this prismatic crystal of lustrous and translucent ruby weighs 29 carats.
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