Benitoite on Neptunite
Miniature, 4.1 x 1.8 x 1.7 cm
Gem Mine, San Benito County, California, USA
Ex. Frank Knetchel; Kevin Brown

This is a most unusual specimen featuring a benny perched up on a neptunite crystal, as if it were hanging on and spinning around it. The neptunite is terminated, if cruedly and etched. The benitoite is also temrinated fully, though the growth is asymmetric in parts. It is pristine and complete save for a tiny ding that does not detract. Especially gazing at it in a case, the eye is struck by the casual randomness and symmetry of the associaiton - you just don't see bennies like this around. This is a thick benitoite too, not slender at all. The two best crystal terminations on the benitoite triangle have nice, thick gem rough areas to them. I would estimate there is a carat stone in the frontal termination, and a slightly smaller one in the termination pointing up and away as shown. Thus, there HAS to be $2000 in finished facet rough here (once you cut it, of course). Less, for wholesale. But still, a nice intrinsic value to a piece, I think! Frank Knechtel was a soybean famer in San Diego who sold his land for suburban development and amassed a huge and fine collection. Kevin is a friend of mine, locally, who bought this from me perhaps 6-7 years ago and has now traded it back. I prefer to sell it as a specimen first, but with the value of cut benitoite rising now that the mine is stripped bare, I will simply have it cut eventually if it does not sell first.