Ivory colored feldspar is the matrix for a plate of intergrown, lustrous, black, schorl crystals, to 2.5 cm across, upon which are emplaced several, glassy and gemmy, intensely colored, blue aquamarine crystals, to 4 cm in length. A few aqua crystals on the right side are unterminated either by contact or damage; but the major cluster of 8 aquamarines at the left, as shown, are all terminated and pristine. Normally I would trim the plate in the middle, leaving a pristine small cab on the left, with those 8 gemmy crystals - and at a higher price for the perfection. However, the large cluster of schorl is such nice contrast, I just left the piece large still, as the blue-black contrast really does add visually, I feel.
Emplaced on ivory colored feldspar are lustrous, black schorl crystals, to 4.0 cm in length. Perched on the schorl are several glassy and gemmy, intensely-colored, blue aquamarine crystals, to 6.1 cm in length. The largest schorl is rather equant in form and the largest aqua is doubly terminated, slicing right across that large schorl for maximal contrast not only of color, but of geometry as well. The center of the specimen is dominated by jewel-like, very gemmy, slender aquas on schorl, all atop the feldspar which you can see in some places underlaying. One schorl was broken and then rehealed over, in situ, making for an odd surface face. As with most of this pocket, there are just a few very unobtrusive dings here or there, but you have to really work hard to find them. Out of all the aquas here, only a few of the very smallest are broken, the rest being terminated well. Overall, this is a large plate with lots of flash, and good 3-dimensionality
Even amongst so many unusual association pieces from this pocket, without question this is a very elegant and unusual combo specimen. An ivory-colored feldspar crystal (slightly etched but sharp enough) extends above the lustrous, black schorl crystals (to 3.5 cm across), and is transected by a doubly terminated, glassy and gemmy, intensely-colored, blue aquamarine crystal measuring 6.2 cm in length. That long aqua shows both terminations fully freestanding, and is pristine except for a few very small dings on the top (you must look closely to see them). Other aquas play a minor role as accents, including two that are contacted or broken but only on the back side. The graceful scuptural configuration of this specimen is absolutely first rate! It really hosts and displays the main aqua "front and center."
This speicmen is more than jus tyour normal aqua because of the starkly contrastign accents of schorl running throughout its beltline. There is literally a forest of small schorls included inside, at the midpoint of the crystal, on a flat plane that probably represents an internal termination from which the aqua continued to grow after the schorl deposition on the sides and top of the previous generation of crystal> The aqua above is very gemmy and bright, with good lustre. The color is enhanced visually by the contrast! The crystal is complete all around and quite nearly pristine, with just a few of the most minor of dings but otherwise perfect
ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran
A very unusual topaz for the region, known for its imperial topaz crystals! This is a complete floater, all around. It has minute specks of schorl included inside which makes a nice accent
This pegmatite has produced arguably the best and largest number of fine morganites in the world from any one small find, back about 30 years ago now. This is a HUGE specimen with so much color and impact, because of the size, that it seems fake at first! It masses/weighs just over a kilo. The crystal measures 10 x 8.5 cm , is 3.5 cm or 1.75 inches thick, and is complete all around. It has a minor indentation on the left side, that is crystallized in faces with attached albite blades over them. There are a few small spots of roughness in the front face that were filled with gap-fill epoxy (its there, but in context of size and overall impact minimal). The white spot at the base of the crystal is part of the matrix that grows up into the crystal or vice versa, and is albite as well, though massive and not crystallized. This specimen is translucent to transparent throughout, highly lustrous, and a rich pink-lavender color that is distinctly Urucum's own hue. Classically, you want these to be associated with schorl but not drowned out by the schorl - too many are actually so included they look gray or ugly. This one has just enough schorl on it to accent without taking away from the pink gemminess and transparency, the black on pink making for a better piece. More importantly, this crystal stands miraculously UPRIGHT on a matrix of solid intergrown schorl and albite! Ok, its not a miracle, but rather an excellent trim job by one of our friends. Because of its wonderful display aesthetics, this one whopper of a morganite, both literally and figuratively, for ANY locale. IT IS MUCH BETTER IN PERSON! Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.
ex. Richard Heck
A massive beige colored quartzy matrix is completely covered by equant, very lustrous, prismatic, black, schorl crystals to 1 cm long and 1.8 cm wide.The prism faces are extremely lustrous while the terminations exhibit more of a corroded appearance. Overall, very robust and unusual for this classic locality which has produced much more of the so-called "fuzzy schorls" with a satiny lustre and surface to them.
ex. Irv Brown
It is a locality piece with value for the location to be sure, but beyond that it is just a damned good schorl with killer lustre and termination! In fact, qualitywise, its the best gram for gram I have seen from any US locality
Look how striking these bright green fluorites appear against the stark black of the schorl tourmaline here! The tourmalines are compound crystals composed of dozens of acicular sub-crystals stacked tightly together, with a myriad of sub-terminations evident on top. The Erongo locality is best known for its aquamarines with schorl, but has also produced a limited number of these pretty green fluorites, and here the association with the schorl is really aesthetic.
Spessartine from this small mine in rural San Diego County has mesmerized the world for years and is , by many, considered to be the world's best of species for combination of sharpness, color, lustre, and association. The best, like this piece, look like fake golfballs made of leaded orange glass. Pieces like this were mined by Louis Spaulding Sr., perhaps through the early 1970s. This quality has not been found since despite much effort and cost. This matrix of albite has formed like soft hands holding in their middle a sharp single crystal measuring 2.5 x 2 cm. The crystal is 1.5 cm thick in places. Although remarkably pristine and complete on the front display face, it is admittedly contacted/damaged on the backside. However, for this deposit, not only is the crystal of large size, but it miraculously does not have the fractures and solution-etching erosion so commonly seen on garnets from the mine. As with nearly all such combo specimens from here, the schorl is more a color association than anything, and I do not mind here some damage (it is not terminated) to the schorl. Most larger garnets of this size have one or the other, or both , problems, due to the active environment here which fractured and then crushed many specimen pockets. The cracking mars the color and lustre, and makes truly beautiful specimens (not just representative) all the more uncommon. This crystal is breath-taking in its fiery color and intensity. I can say this fairly confidently, having seen 5 of what are thought to be the best of them in the Smithsonian and in several private California collections (and one nice Colorado collector's, as well!). This miniature is STUNNING. it literally glows with color. but more than that, the sharp form and lustre make it world class, for a locality occurrence. Joe Budd photos
This is a large, impressive specimen of Morganite (pink beryl) from THE classic old find in Brazil, dated to 1965. The story of this find is related on page 200 of the book Gem & Crystal Treasures. Few specimens recovered had complete crystals on matrix, and of such transparency. Few have complete hexagonal form not overgrown by ugly matrix. Few are this size and condition. Few are in an aesthetic quality for the advanced collector. This crystal shows sharp hexagonal form, excellent color, bright luster, and transparency. And, it stands straight up from contrasting black matrix of tourmaline that accentuates the pink color and sharp form. These are highly sought after, and to obtain a freestanding single of this size on matrix should be considered a rare chance. Joe Budd photos.
ex. Jeffrey Starr
Well-proportioned and very attractive, this combination is also representative for the famous Shigar Valley of northern Pakistan. The beautiful and gemmy Fluorite has a complex habit, appealing sea-foam green color, and excellent fluorescence. It is 1.2 cm across. The Fluorite rests perfectly at the base of a lustrous, striated 3 cm Schorl. There are several small Schorls that grow out near the base, creating a very appealing accent to the overall piece. The main Schorl crystal has the classic trigonal 'Mercedes' termination. An excellent, aesthetic piece.
ex. Charlie Key
If I had to pick one miniature for sheer pizzazz, this would be it. The specimen features a really fine aqua with deep color, excellent glassy lustre, and complete all around....but its those associations that obviously make it outstanding and visually unique! Never have I seen a miniature from here with such interesting and unusual aesthetics, because of its associations with schorl and quartz. This full miniature is complete all around !
ex. Charlie Key
A GEM aquamarine about 2.5 cm long, perched in the side of a very sharp and lustrous schrol crystal - great contrast and stark symmetry make this piece have a lot of impact for the price!
ex. Charlie Key
This specimen is "elegant" in every sense. It features a slender but super quality aqua, 3.5 cm long, perched gently on a sharply angled feldspar crystal decorated with schorl and fluorite. Just a really fine piece that stands out from the crowd of Erongo pieces!
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