Manganoan Vesuvianite
Thumbnail, 2.2 x 1.9 x 1.2 cm
Jeffrey mine, Asbestos, Richmond County, Quebec, Canada

The now-closed Jeffrey Mine in Canada, once one of the largest asbestos producers in North America, is world-famous for its superb Grossular Garnets and Vesuvianites. The rarest of the vesuvianites are the few pockets of good purple crystals that show idiomorphic textbook form such as this one, colored by manganese. The color on this piece is outstanding. While many Vesuvianites from the Jeffrey Mine are green, these are the rarer and more desired purple. The crystals are a rich, deep purple with a green core, but not so dark that you cannot appreciate how gemmy and translucent the crystals are. The luster is glassy and superb. To make things even better, the main crystal is doubly-terminated, with a nice side-car crystal attached. The photos are good, but the piece is even better in person. A first-class thumbnail from two of the major thumbnail collections of the last several decades.