Small Cabinet, 7.0 x 6.0 x 5.0 cm
Mimoso do Sul Mine, Mimoso do Sul, Espirito Santo, Brazil

This specimen was featured in the exhibition "MINERAL DREAMS: Brazilian Gem treasures" at the Munich show of 2010. It is an incredibly intense sea-blue color, with vibrant intensity that makes it glow from across the room. The shape is, to say the least, "odd." I have seen smaller examples of this unusual habit from the mine dated from the 60s all the way through recent, though rare and small, pockets. Generally, most are single crystals of slender habit, about 1 cm thick. This is a monster. It was purchased by a billionaire oil and real estate heir in the 1970s for his collection, at the Tucson show; and later placed by him for sale in his hobby and gem/jewelry shop in Virginia City, Nevada, "The Marshall Mint." I couldn't believe this thing, sitting there on the shelf when I stolled in as a simple tourist. No kidding. It had been there for a decade, unnoticed under a thick layer of rust and attached grime that came off in a cleaning process. I think it is a one-of-a-kind.Joe Budd Photos