Ohngaing (Ohn Gaing; Ohn Kai), Mogok, Sagaing District, Mandalay Division, Burma (Myanmar)
Thumbnail, 2.7 x 1.8 x 1.7 cm
Next to Phosphophyllite, Painite is considered one of the "Holy Grail" of rare minerals and is truly one of the rarest minerals on the planet. It was named after its discoverer, British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain. Believe it or not, the Guinness Book of World Records has described Painite as THE rarest gem mineral. Discovered in Burma in the early 1950's, from 1956 until 1979 only three crystals of this hexagonal mineral were known to exist! Recently, in Burma, there has been a new find of what is the largest discovery of this super rare mineral. This is the result of years of laborious detective work, long days of digging and mining the few hills and sorting each and every crystal and fragment by hand. It is doubtful that there will be any more Painite, ever! Chemically, Painite is CaZrBAl9O18. However, it also contains minor amounts of chromium and vanadium and traces of iron that contribute to the orange-red to brownish-red color of the mineral. This particular specimen is a very large, rich piece that is just loaded with dozens upon dozens of sharp, highly lustrous, thin, prismatic, reddish-brown crystals of Painite to form a beautiful display specimen. The crystals are actually somewhat gemmy and show a color change from sunlight to incandescent lighting. It is very difficult to find specimens that are more than a few millimeters, let alone a piece that is over 1 inch in length! This material is disappearing fast, and there truly hasn't been much new material found for almost a year now. The piece looks much better than the pictures might indicate. 2.7 x 1.8 x 1.7cm