Spinel (Twinned) in Calcite
Miniature, 5.5 x 4.5 x 3.9 cm
Sungate Mine, An Phu, Luc Yen, Yenbai Province, Vietnam
This superb full miniature highlights a very sharp, aesthetically placed spinel crystal, 2.5 cm on a side, perched on the most contrasting matrix you can ask for, of stark white calcite. The crystal of spinel is "spinel-twinned," in that it shows a clear macle twinning effect. Most such twinned spinels seem to come to market off matrix, for whatever reasons. The spinel has been carefully excavated on the back and sides and is fully exposed - quite a risk for the preparator, to have taken. The termination and the faces are all sharp and lustrous with a classic waxy luster that is typical of spinel. This was mined in the 2010 mining season and for my taste, was the finest example I saw out of a small lot of them to come out. When backlit, this glows a rich, deep, maroon color. Joe Budd Photos