Thumbnail, 2.2 x 2.1 x 1.7 cm
Sao Miguel de Piracicaba, Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Ex. Ernest Schlichter

This is a truly outstanding phenakite thumbnail specimen from the important finds here of the 1940s and early 1950s (the "Fred Pough era" as some call it). Most such thumbnails are rolled, tumbled, and just translucent without being truly gemmy. This specimen has gem crystals of total clarity with a high refractive index that makes them stand out from beryls. It looks more like a gemmy Dalnegorsk calcite than anything, at first glance. As a thumbnail, for the sheer luster and sparkliness, it blew me away when it turned up. It is complete all around the front faces, although it is contacted in back of the major crystal. To me, this weird and exotic mineral is much more interesting than most Brazilian gem crystals.