Gem-clear crystal with superb luster and form. By itself, it is a wonderful specimen, but you include six tiny spessartine garnets and a .5 cm hexagonal book of mica growing attractively out of the quartz, and this becomes a KILLER thumbnail.
ex. Chuck Houser
A huge matrix plate of beautiful white albite just sprinkled with lovely, wine-red garnets! Unusual for the county, especially to get such a large plate with all the geologic disruption here! "This was collected 1986/87 by
ex. Chris Korpi
A really attractive large specimen featuring a classic Little 3 assemblage in decorative arrangement...the smoky in the middle is pristine save for one small contacted face (not damage), and is nicely accented by stark white albite and dozens of glittering little orange spessartines perched on every other species present (quartz, albite, muscovite blades) and even included within the smoky!
ex. Chris Korpi
A CLASSIC San Diego garnet, most likely dating to the Louis Spalding Sr. era of mining when the best all came out of this small mine in remote San Diego County. This is a SUPER specimen as it features a crystal which is not only large (2.5 cm) but sharply formed whereas most of them are etched and partially dissolved. Large, intact spessartines of this size are VERY scarce on the market and even in the major collections in San Diego where they are considered one of the top collectibles from the area.
ex. Chris Korpi
A CLASSIC San Diego combo specimen, most likely dating to the Louis Spalding Sr. era of mining when the best all came out of this small mine in remote San Diego County. This is a really showy combination specimen for the price, as it features a 1.2 cm partially etched crystal which is not only very colorful but also still retains some of the original crystal faces (though not all). Nearly all garnets of any size recovered from this mine show etching to some degree , asthe solutions started to resorb them sometime after formation. Here, at least, the crystal has color and visual appeal especially as it sits nicely in contrasting white albite between two schorl rabbit-ears. Large, intact spessartines of this size are VERY scarce on the market and even in the major collections in San Diego where they are considered one of the top collectibles from the area. This one came through noted California dealer Al Ordway, who always has great San Diego stuff from the old days!
This beautiful matrix specimen features a 1.5 cm , VERY GEMMY crystal perched in matrix of albite. It is MUCH better in person, brighter an dmore lustrous and sparkly! The garnet crystal is the seed of a daisychain of little garnet flecks that crawls through the pocket and to the back of the piece, perhaps grown from the partial etching of the original large crystal. RARE material, nowadays!
ex. Kevin Brown
MUCH MORE GEMMY IN PERSON! These are rare things indeed, as I know from living nearby for almost a decade. Few collectors, even in San Diego County, own a crystal so large and sharp as this one. It is also exceedingly gemmy, MUCHBRIGHTER and more lustrous in person than the pic appears. The garnet measures 2 cm across at widest, and is COMPLETE and wellformed all around. MOST large garnets of this size are cracked, hackly, and just plain ugly because the pegmatite was so disrupted by movement and by acidic solutions that liked to eat garnets away and leave semicrystallized messes behind. This is a small miniature, but a fine one, of a quality that I can say you simply do not see for sale. By worldwide standards, many people consider these to be the finest spessartine gem crystals on matrix one can obtain, with the exception of a very few oldtimers from one small find in Marienfluss, Namibia. Certianly for the US collector, this is a critical addition to the collection. And a colorful one!
Despite the vast flood of inferior quality garnets that came out of this place recently, it is still true that sharp, pristine, crystals of good color and size are not as common aspeople think. Most of the best crystals came out in the beginning and wha tis available now , if seen in person, is simply not as gemmy, colorful, and pristine of bruises as what we saw at the recent shows. And, after 8 months now of production, the finest quality sharp orange garnets in matrix remain VERY rare. I ahve seen many almost-rans, but this one is among the best matrix pieces I have had now for overall quality. The color is intense,m the form perfect, and it has no damage at all. The crystal is almost 2 cm tall, and looks like a glowing orange carving on its perch of sparkling muscovite.
This is a garnet of unusally high quality from recent finds of early 2010! The photo is accurate and yet doesn't do this beauty justice with its rich, screaming orange color that's simply riveting in person. This small batch of spessartines had a natural, untreated, red tone to the normal orange color that gives them a look more similar to padparascha sapphire , at first glance. The color is reminiscent of some spinels. It is NOT a normal color you expect to see in a garnet and so these gems really stand out for several reasons. The gem is very clean and bright as you would wish in a garnet (even in low lighting conditions), and it's important to note that the stone has a perfectly even color distribution, with no zoning. Specimens like this are rare and are suitable both for jewelry or a wonderful part of a collector's rough-and-cut set.
Spessartine occurs in all shades of red and orange, and this particular stone is a nice blending of the two shades. This stone has an "Oval" cut and is only very very very slightly included with great saturation of color. I've only seen a handful of these stones from this dangerous area on the Indian/Pakistani border, and this is one of the finest quality gems of the material that I have encountered.
Spessartine is one of the more beautiful Garnets out there, especially because it occurs in larger stones. The material is only found from a handful of localities in top gem quality material. This particular stone is from East Africa (probably Tanzania) and has a very attractive, deep red color. The gem has a "Cushion" cut and is virtually eye clean. The color is really superb in this stone, and these gems are rarely found over 4 carats in any quantity. This gem would make a superb addition to any Garnet collection.
ex. Helmut Bruckner
A really complex combo piece, with an aquamarine shooting straight up through the crystallized albite feldpsar matrix (you can see it from underneath) like a fiber-optic cable of gem blue glass. On it is perched, wraparound, a spessartine garnet crystal that is pretty good on its own merits; plus the bonus that it is set up against the sharply crystallized white background. The terminated zigzag schorl at the base is a final bonus. Overall, one of the more cute combo specimens I have seen from here.
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
Although seemingly common on the market for the last few years, this is a particularly choice piece, with what I felt was uncommonly good aesthetics and balance for its size and price range. The garnets here are bright and sparkling, and have a slightly deeper red color than appears in the photos in halogen lights. The quartz is particularly gemmy ans symmetric, amking for a very striking combination piece - these are sure to be "classics" someday! Joe Budd photos.
A large floater crystal of spessartine from Brazil. We backlit it (strongly) to emphasize not only the super gemminess through and through, but also the amazing architecturally stepped surfaces so distinctive of this find. This specimen is complete and undamaged, with the incredible terraces all the way around.
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