Benitoite, Neptunite
Thumbnail, 8.7 x 6.0 x 1.2 cm
Dallas Gem Mine (Benitoite Mine; Benitoite Gem Mine; Gem Mine), Dallas Gem Mine area, San Benito River headwaters area, New Idria District, Diablo Range, San Benito Co., California

An extraordinarily elegant plate of well-balanced benitoites perched on just the right amount of matrix, accented by stunning jetblack neptunites. Often, too much of the natrolite is removed in preparing the specimen and the benitoites are left sitting on dark matrix. This prep job, though, is so even its incredible, with uniform stark white backing to the sharp blue triangles. Note the 1.2 cm floating triangle, showing ALL faces and all 3 terminations, which is what really makes the piece significant - getting those floating crystals is NOT easy. I recently exchanged this from the Steve Smale collection. Steve is noted for his sharp eye for perfection and "good horizons," as well as his general good taste in aesthetic mineral specimens. This one fits! But, he had a few too many, we thought... 8.7 x 6 x 1.2 cm