Phlogopite Mica on Orthoclase Feldspar
Niaslo, Basha Valley, Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 8.0 x 6.0 cm
To my mind, this is one of the most fascinating specimens in the update: The reason why is that we have ALL seen innumerable tourmaline and aquamarine and fluorite and apatite from this rich pegmatite district. But I personally have never seen a MICA that I absolutely loved...usually mica of various species is just the stuff that the good stuff grows on! This is a sharp, textbook crystallized mica (of the phlogopite-biotite series, so we call them phlogopite or just "mica") perched smartly in gorgeous, translucent to transparent crystals of feldspar. You simply could not ask for better aesthetics. The biotite mica crystals are 5 cm wide, so sharp they look carved; and, complete all around with no damage. This is a fantastic piece for any suite of minerals for this region, and a rarity that to me stands out even amongst a case of far more expensive specimens. Joe Budd photos.