Topaz on Quartz With Muscovite
Dassu, Haramosh Mts., Gilgit District, Northern Areas, Pakistan
Large Cabinet, 21.0 x 14.5 x 14.0 cm
This superb large museum sized specimen showcases a gemmy, champagne-colored topaz crystal measuring 5.8 x 4.6 x 4 cm, dramatically shooting off of a matrix of associated white cleavelandite (in nice ballshaped aggregates), sharp golden muscovite, and lustrous clear quartzes. The combination of other species around the topaz highlights its color and symmetry nicely. The topaz crystal itself is absolutely unscathed by damage or dings on its edges, though it has a clean (i.e. invisible, but disclosed nonetheless) repair at its base (where the crystal disappears into the rock, it had naturally cracked in situ before it was mined). Aside from some trivial damage to the accenting quartz matrix, the display face is in good shape otherwise and presents as a 3-dimensional slope that lets the topaz rise for maximum height. A second, 4 cm topaz is laying diagonally at the foot of the major crystal. Note also the gemminess and luster - while clarity and gemminess is common enough on these Pakistani topaz crystals, the shocking luster here is atypical. It is top percentile, glassy and bright. Relatively fewer large topaz specimens seem to come out of the same pegmatites that produce beryls on end. And of the ones that do, fine matrix pieces are harder to get than for beryls or tourmalines, as well. Overall, this is about the size of a volleyball and it carries a LOT of impact. I have seen very few Pakistani topazes that enamored me so much as this one (in this size!). Mined in 2008. Joe Budd photos