Spinel in Marble
Miniature, 4.2 x 3.2 x 2.6 cm
Sungate Mine, An Phu, Luc Yen, Yenbai Province, Vietnam

This marble matrix hosts a SHARP 3.5 x 2 x 2 cm crystal of octahedral spinel and is trimmed for perfect display ratio and contrast. These came out in this quality a decade or more ago, and I have seen none of this level recently. It is a superb spinel, the likes of which you can get in crystals from from here or Tanzania - rarely - but which you seldom will find preserved in matrix and in such pristine condition. Sharp shape, color, and contrast, combined with important size for the species, all make this a fine piece - much more than merely an interesting locality specimen, though the Vietnam origin is of course also notable! Photo by Joe Budd. ex. Dr. Matt Tannenbaum collection. Rotating video available for streaming at