Merelani Mines, Arusha, Tanzania
Miniature, 5.5 x 3.3 x 1.9 cm
A stunningly intense, deep blue crystal that is natural and unheated. The piece shows vivid blue, red, and purple colors along its three axes. The blue is particularly intense, especially when you consider how GEMMY the top is; and how usually those two features do not go hand in hand. A fancy termination and top-percentile glassy luster together, make this a superb large miniature. The crystal is 66 grams and contains a large amount of cutting rough in gem-clean regions. Although there are a few narrow veils in the gem portions, the piece still would cut three decent sized stones and some smaller stones, all of AAA unheated color. Thus, at the source even, we had to pay a price for this crystal based on its facet value. It was estimated that the cutting value of this crystal is nearly the specimen value being asked, making it a relative bargain as far as these go, based on this intrinsic value. I am a big believer in hoarding fine tanzanites, as the source just cannot last forever, and worldwide demand for the gemstone drives the miners to cut good crystals for the easy and quick monetary yield, as opposed to save them. This particular crystal was found in April of 2011, and came in a small pocket that yielded a number of pieces with this fancy, unusually complex termination which I find highly desirable. Comes with a custom lucite base for display. Joe Budd photos