- Painite (type locality)
- Thumbnail, 2.6 x 1.0 x 0.7 cm
- Kyauk-Pyat-That, Mogok Township, Mandalay Region, Myanmar
- Ex. Charlie Key
Painite is a rare calcium-zirconium-aluminum borate from the "Burma Stone Tract" and Kyauk-Pyat-That is the type locality for the species. It was discovered in Burma in the early 1950's and named after its discoverer, British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain. Between 1956 and 1979 only three crystals of this hexagonal mineral were known to exist until the mid-2000s when quite a few were found and recovered. It is still listed online in Google lists of "most valuable materials" and "most valuable gemstones" based on the prices for grains of it in the 1980s (my nine-year old has asked me if I had any, and would trade it for diamonds). Many of these were retrieved from decayed contact zones in the local limestone that is prevalent in the area, and just were found loose and fully formed as you see here. These are nevertheless rare and after the one single big find about 15 years ago, they have not been found in any quantity since. I heard they literally stripmined the hill into a hole, just to be sure they got it all. This deep red, glassy crystal is an astonishing 2.6 cm long, with superb luster and is spotted with several, tiny and gemmy pink-red Rubies in association. It is significant. This crystal has exceptional luster, form and size for the species! It came to me in a joint purchase many years ago, from the Charlie Key collection.