Thumbnail, 1.2 x 1.0 x 0.9 cm
Alchuri (Alchori; Aschudi), Shigar Valley, Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan
This was, to me, one of the most startling and exciting new finds of the show even if both the find and its audience are admittedly very small. Triplite is an EXTREMELY rare manganese/iron phosphate that has not been previously reported as being from Pakistan. Crystals are simply unavailable and crystals of beauty unprecedented. This small parcel turned up just ahead of the show, and was X-RAYED at both the Smithsonian and the GIA (Gem Institute of America). As there were very few crystals in the lot, it was basically gem rough and most of it was then promptly cut into gemstones just before the show, because of the shocking color for the colored stone collectors. This etched crystal is one of just a very few pieces from the find that I am aware of, that makes for a specimen-quality example. I believe this find will remain as rare, if not more so, than the vaerynynites which come from the same region and command such a premium. In fact, if this were vaerynynites, because I suppose the name is so much more recognizable as one of those "holy grails" of rare Pakistani species, it would paradoxically be worth more - but triplite in this quality is definitely the rarer of the two.