Merelani Mines, Arusha, Tanzania
Small Cabinet, 8.8 x 2.9 x 2.0 cm
A stunning, unusually elongated and vertical tanzanite crystal showing vivid gemminess, especially when stood up showing the purple side forward. For whatever reasons, I cannot explain, nearly all tanzanite crystals present at their best with the blue face forward, and the purple axis turned 90 degrees from display. It is just the way of things. But this piece really shows both the best drama and the best gemminess, with the purple facing the viewer. The blue color is equally intense, though, and no slouch on its own. When a light is shined up along the c-axis, bottom to top, the piece glows with a brilliant red-magenta color that is indicative of its natural coloration without treatment (treatment for the gem trade disrupts the third, red color from showing). What is amazing is that, despite the height, the light really transmits through nicely along the long c-axis and makes the whole piece glow, instead of just the tip. The crystal is pristine and complete all around, although it has a "slip contact" where one surface is rough in a few places, only on the very right hand edge, due to contact where it grew against another crystal. The piece is obviously very 3-dimensional as you can see, and reminds me of Transco tower in Houston. So overall this is a stunningly intense, deep blue crystal that is natural and unheated. The piece shows vivid blue, red, and purple colors along its three axes. At just over 100 grams mass, there is a sizeable amount of high-grade cutting rough here, where you could go right up the gemmy core of the piece and cut intense purple-oriented stones including two of substantial size. As I say elsewhere here, 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 the early 2000s and has been in a private collection since that time. Comes with a custom lucite base for display. Joe Budd photos