Spessartine Garnet
Navegadora Mine (Navegador Mine; Orozimbo Mine), Penha do Norte, Conselheiro Pena, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 11.0 x 8.0 x 6.5 cm
For a short time in the mid-2000s, a flood of beautiful, cityscape spessartine garnet crystals came out of this mine. They are all gone now, pretty easily absorbed by the market. In that time, I saw thousands of pieces. I saw only a few dozen larger pieces that ever really caught my eye, and I bought and sold a number of them. Then, recently, I was shown this piece which was held back in the private collection of a gem dealer who imported many of the first garnet specimens (and so this dates from the earlier portion of the finds around 2005). It is very lustrous, very sharp, and complete all around. It is a floater, with some small white quartz crystals attached at the bottom (and they are also complete). At 850 grams, and over 4 inches across, it is quite simply one of the best large pieces to come from this series of pockets which should be rememberd as one of the great surprising Brazilian finds of its time. Although the photos are good, it is hard to convey the sheer dimensionality of the piece. The lighting used shows its color in normal light, but it glows red on the edges when more strongly lit. Overall, an important, large, and someday classic Brazilian gem crystal. Joe Budd photos