Neptunite with Benitoite
Miniature, 5.3 x 3.1 x 2.2 cm
Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA
Perched aesthetically on a matrix of serpentine and natrolite is a 4 cm long, black nepunite crystal with brilliant luster and reddish highlights. It is framed above and below by lustrous and translucent, bright blue benitoite crystals, to 1.3 cm on an edge. As with many larger neptunites, this has developed tectonic cracking but has not come apart or been repaired. A fine display quality example of this classic combo, from a nearly defunct locality (it has been basically stripmined away). This locality is really the best locality for the species, in sharp lustrous crystals. While it was worked on and off for decades, it is likely that the accessible part of the deposit is now mostly barren and mined out.
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