Sodalite Var. Hackmanite
Small Cabinet, 6.9 x 5.1 x 3.0 cm
Pitawak Mine, Kokscha Valley, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan

These rare specimens have an intense, saturated purple color so deep and vibrant that one's first thought is that the color is faked with food coloring or dyes.The crystal is a hair under 4 cm, very good size for such saturated color in this quality level. It is sharp and well formed on front and sides, contacted on the back, although 3-dimensional enough to display well. These crystals tend to occur embedded in the marbles of the location, and seldom do you get a pocket crystal that formed in an open space, and thus has better luster and form than most. This piece, however, grew in such a manner, which partly explains why it looks so different from the vast majjority of generally more pale, worn-looking examples from this locality (which has now produced the world's best of species). I have handled a few others which cost more money, some bigger and some smaller. However, as an overall specimen, this still ranks at the very top of those I have seen. Note, as a bonus, the intense neon pink fluorescence under UV light. Joe Budd Photos.

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