Beryl (Var: Aquamarine), Muscovite
Mt Xuebaoding, Pingwu Co., Mianyang Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China
Small Cabinet, 9.2 x 6.7 x 5.9 cm
This is seemingly your classic Ping Wu aquamarine assemblage, with sharp, tabular, hexagonal aquamarine crystals perched in golden muscovite. However, in person the aquamarine here is significantly more lustrous than usual, more shiny and glassy. The muscovite is more golden than the usual gray-hued colors you see from here. The major aquamarine crystal is 5 cm across. Ping Wu is within the national Panda refuge boundary and mining here has become increasingly restricted. Then, to make it worse for mineral extraction, this was the epicenter of the 2008 earthquake which destroyed so much infrastructure, and so many people's lives and livelihoods in this region. The road to this mine was even shut down for a brief time. Ex. Dr. Stephen Smale Collection.