Miniature, 3.6 x 0.9 x 0.8 cm
Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito County, California, USA

Choice Neptunite miniature with sharp edges, good luster, and textbook habit. It is a very large, robust, freestanding crystal! Black with a hint of red as the best are, but not ugly and dull...this is the world's only world class locality for the species as far as I am concerned (not to discount the manganoan-red variety, which occurs in smaller crystals). The termination's luster is actually more of a matte finish, an interesting example of preferential growth. Now that the deposit is literally strip-mined and gone, no more of this caliber can come from the ground as they once did. As with all such large crystals, it is dissolved out of surrounding natrolite matrix with acid. In this case, to get the crystal must have been already cracked in situ, and thus the specimen is repaired (hence the low price for such a huge, sharp, crystal). I can tell you that the repair is very clean - so clean in fact, that I missed it on first glance when buying this piece in the collection, at a somewhat higher price than what I will now sell it for, with the disclosure, and so it displays nicely.