Black Lake Mine, near Thetford, Quebec, Canada
Small Cabinet, 8.0 x 7.5 x 6.0 cm
In person, this has a deep blue color that does not photograph well for me, and has a somewhat "silky" luster to it. The specimen is the single largest piece of gem rough for the species on the market, as well as being a fine mineral display specimen! I had the largest known blue-suolunite cut stone cut out of a small piece of the backside, where there remains much gem rough if you were to cob this up to get at the gemmy sections of the massive matrix on which the crystals have formed. This is one of the very best specimens ever to be available from a small pocket of some 40 specimens collected in 1997. They were sold to Charlie Key, who later sold them to the Royal Ontario Museum around 2001 along with his Canadian collection. The ROM released some specimens for sale at the Tucson-2002 show through Rod Tyson (perhaps 2 dozen), and this was the single largest and best specimen of the blue varietal to be had but it was also my favorite single specimen, PERIOD. The only better piece is in the ROM! Only 4 specimens were blue, the rest being various shades of pale lavender to gray in color. This was, again, not only the best but the most 3-dimensional and large of the "blues" to be had. I exchanged it with the ROM for a world-class gemmy sturmanite crystal, and promptly sold this specimen to a collector who has now put his collection up for sale. I am moving it for him at the same price it was exchanged to me, $4000 as per the Tyson's 2001 valuation (label included); and I think it a bargain for this price 3 years later!