An AESTHETIC specimen of an upright, 4.9 cm, glassy, smoky quartz crystal with another horizontal smoky on matrix and festooned with gemmy, orange spessartine garnets from the recent finds at the Tongbei Area of China. The horizontal smoky is lightly contacted, but is certainly not detracting from this showy piece. The back has been sawed to enhance display. 5.5 x 5.3 x 3.4 cm
An aesthetic Pakistan combination piece of a 6 mm, gemmy, red spessartine garnet nicely perched on the side of a aquamarine crystal. Ex Irv Brown TN Collection. 1.9 x 1.0 x 0.7 cm
An AESTHETIC and pristine plate of gemmy, orange spessartine garnets and transparent to translucent, smoky quartz crystals to 2.3 cm on matrix. Some of the smoky faces are preferentially frosted. The back has been sawed to enhance display. 9.8 x 8.1 x 3.3 cm
A really cute, pristine miniature of gemmy, lustrous, red spessartine garnets girding a near-transparent, lustrous smoky quartz crystal from recent finds from the Tongbei Area of China. 3.7 x 2.0 x 1.8 cm
ex. William Larson
This specimen is a rare LARGE schorl and matrix piece from the mine. As a bonus it has a sharp 1.5 cm Spessartine crystal sitting within the cast of a former , larger crystal, perched on beautiful and marge matrix of albite and schorls. For the matrix, itself, this is a classic specimen and you rarely see such in large size. Most larger pieces from here are quite broken up. This is an old piece from Louis Spaulding, the mine owner. Stabilized with a little glue injected into a seam in back , but not repaired. In person, it is much more dramatic and really an immediately recognizable locality piece with impact in person
ex. William Larson
This is a stunning, unusually large crystal of spessartine for the locality which is miraculously NOT etched all to heck like so many are. It sits on a pedestal of cleavelandite matrix, and is exceptional for its display quality. The crystal is complete all around, though shows a contact on the back where it grew in the pocket against a schorl that left an impression. The crystal, at 1 inch, is as large as all but the few biggest specimens from here evre reached and is remarkable for its pristine form. Most large garnets fro mthis mine were etched in situ and turn into spongy but sparkly masses that are absolutely gorgeous, but retain few of the natural garnet crystal faces the crystal started with. To get a crystal surviving in this condition, so sharp and lustrous, and completely unetched at all, is almost unheard of. If this were on a bigger matrix, it would be treble the price. As is, it is a fine miniature worthy of competition in any collection showcasing US classics or garnet. Within the San Diego collecting community, owning a garnet of this calibre is one of the highlights of any collection. Few can be had, though> This one, Bill Larson obtained in the early 1980s from mine owner Louis Spalding Sr.'s collection.
Next to the vibrant orange Spessartines from the Ramona area of San Diego County, California, the Virginian Spessartines are some of the most recognized orange Spessartines from the United States. Rarely does one see facetted gems of this material. This stone has a very nice, rich orange hue (from a high Manganese content) as is often seen in crystals from this area. The stone is very slightly included with an "Oval" cut. These Spessartines are becoming nearly impossible to obtain in fine quality gems like this one.
Although I haven't seen much of this material, this stone came from a trusted source, so I believe it is authentic. Spessartine occurs in all shades of red and orange, and this particular stone is a nice blending of the two shades. This stone has a "Step Trillion" cut and is only virtually eye clean, with great saturation of color. I've only seen a handful of these very hard to obtain stones from this dangerous area on the Indian border, and this is one of the best quality gems that I've encountered for the material.
A stunning specimen with an approx 1-inch red-orange garnet perched atop a snowy-white mass of albite and schorl. This is CLASSIC in style for the mine, but good garnets of this size are seldom preserved. One reason is the severe etching tht occurs in situ at this mine usually dissolved the garnets away.Larger garnets often are so far gone,t ehy fall to pieces and cannot be extracted. However, here we have a larger crystal that was gently etched in the pocket, but not so much as to lose its form or fall off matrix. Instead, the gentle etching effect has given it thousands of facets to reflect light from, making for a great display in a showcase. Probably only a few dozen important specimens with matrix bound, unrepaired crystals of this size have survived - most from mining in the 1960s and early 1970s. Despite numerous other finds of the species wordlwide, this San Diego material has a style all its own, instantly recongnizable and highly desired by US collectors.
A 664-gram MONSTER of a crystal, one of the biggest complete crystals we know of from the deposit. It is complete all around and nearly pristine ! It is included with fibrous garnet and some balck mineral, and has a few spots of attached red muscovite matrix attached to small parts of minor faces, but it is nevertheless overall very equant and symmetric and just plain impressive for a big crystal of garnet.
A stunning doublet, regarded by all the people I talked to who are familiar with how this find played out and reached market to be the finest overall specimen from the deposit to date. Approximately 76 grams. The cluster is complete all around save only some small contacting in the back. It is repaired, at a tight click-and-fit junction, just as it was found. It is like a jewel, sharply formed and just so intense and spectacular to hold, you cannot believe this is real and not carved. Remember, this shot does NOT show it backlit, even! This piece has top color, lustre, and gmeminess. As with all of them here, it is more gemmy in person and when more strongly backlit.
A killer doublet, a floater, complete all around and nearly pristine. The larger crystal atop is 4 x 4 x 3 cm in size and securely penetrates into the bottom crystal for a tight lock. MUCH MORE GEMMY and intensely colored in person, even. Here, in the photos, you can see into the depths of the crystal but they do not convey the full effect.
This 218 gram cluster is one of a VERY FEW clusters found so far, and a dramatic piece by any standard. It features crystals to 4 cm intergrown, with seams of a strange red mica mixed into the junctions. Complete floater, with terminations all around! This is one of the largest clusters, and one of the best. It is totally unprecedented for a spessartine garnet specimen, to my mind.
One of our best thumbnails, a SUPER SHARP, fully-terminated, carved-looking "golfball" . This is complete all around, and has intense orange color when backlit strongly. It is more gemmy/translucent in person, as well. Weight is 19 grams
A "matrixy" specimen featuring an elongated gemy spessartine about 2 cm tall and 1 cm thick perched atop a smaller crystal, backed by a bit of matrix; and with the whole piece a great toenail size in full!
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