Phenakite (Rough and Cut Set)
Takowaja River Area, Ural Mountains, Russia
Small Cabinet, 6.9 x 5.5 x 3.7 cm
Russian phenakites have always been desirable among advanced collectors, but for awhile in the 1990's it was impossible to get them because the New Age healing community was buying them up in spades to cut into gems and grind into powder for milkshakes and the like. This is a piece that I recall seeing first in the 1990s in a friend's collection I recently acquired, and I have matched it to a gemstone obtained in the Herb Obodda old dealer stock, a 12.69 ct cut stone, valued $1800). The unusually well isolated crystal atop is gemmy and sharp, by the standards of the locale. It measures approx. 3 x 3 cm. Overall, this is one of the more aesthetic and significant matrix specimens I have seen of the material from Russia. It comes with an old label in Cyrillic from the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of Russia (Moscow). On the back of that label it notes a date of November 1989 for de-acquisition. Joe Budd photos.