Neptunite, Benitoite
Miniature, 4.8 x 4.2 x 3.8 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
The freestanding neptunite crystal here is pristine, complete all around, and has excellent luster. It is just about 2 cm tall. Few neptunite crystals stand so nicely - most form lying upon the matrix and so it takes a trick of prepping the piece to make them look upright even when they are not. This one, it's legitimately sticking up into what was a pocket. The cluster of benitoite at its base is an unusual offset and complement to the stark black neptunite. The larger benitoite is also 2 cm in size, across. The benitoites are not gemmy all through, but they are translucent and have reasonably good color as well. Ex. F. John Barlow Collection.