Herderite on Blue Topaz
Xanda Mine, Virgem De Lapa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.0 x 4.5 cm
Ex. Dr. Ed David

From the famous 1969 pocket of purple Hydroxylherderites (see Bancroft's famous book Gem & Crystal Treasures)... Herderite from the single amazing find of 1969 set the world standard, and these purple herderites are almost never seen for sale today as they remain in collections and museums which acquired them at the time. This remarkable floater specimen, complete all around, was in the original Ed David collection in the 1980s and 1990s, sold to Houston Museum in the mid 1990s, and then exchanged to collector Irv Brown in the early 2000s. It then resided in another collection until now, the well known gem crystals and aesthetic minerals suite of Dr. Matt Tannenbaum of Idaho Falls. For the first time since it was found, I had it sent to the lab for a proper cleaning, and a very minor bit of restoration in the corner tips (where there was a little bit of hoppering or etching, but no damage per se). It is unrepaired and otherwise pristine. The number of specimens from this pocket of such quality were probably under 100, and the number of fine purple herderites like this on matrix, I am sure you can count on two hands or less. I had never even seen a good one ON the blue topaz, until this specimen. I thought they came from separate pockets, found around the same time. I never imagined that there was overlap, and this is possibly a unique specimen (certainly in my experience, it is). This piece is superbly balanced, and a contrast of purple on blue is striking. It has glassy luster, and it is a floater, complete all around with no damage! Note: Technically this species is now Hydroxylherderite as opposed to nomenclature of the past. I will add one more comment: I have seen many of these and bought all I could over the years as they turn up from old collections - and the matrix pieces are few enough but out of all of them, I have NEVER seen anything like this in the size and price and style range coveted by most high level American colelctors of quality. It is simply something that surprises even the jaded. Photo by Joe Budd. Comes with a custom lucite base. Video available at