Spinel with Gem Phlogopite
Pein-pyit, Pein-pyit Zone, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (Burma)
Thumbnail, 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.6 cm
Ex. William (Bill) Larson

This is a competition level, and totally unique thumbnail, from Bill Larson's famous Burma collection consisting of a gem red Spinel crystal in combination with a perfectly formed crystal of Phlogopite Mica. Both crystals are amazing in that they both have gem clarity; the Phlogopite more so than the Spinel. The Spinel is raspberry red in color, 2 cm in maximum dimension with complex form and rounded edges. The rounding is a natural growth feature and NOT from being water worn - as the soft mineral, the gem Phlogopite, is sharply formed! In fact, the Phlogopite crystal is perfectly hexagonal in shape with crisp edges and faces, a really remarkable visual contrast to the octahedral spinel by its side. In fact, it is hard to decide if this is a spinel thumbnail or maybe the world's finest muscovite matrix thumbnail! The gem mica is completely transparent to the point that the Spinel can be seen through the crystal! The Phlogopite has a lovely yellow-tan hue and provides perfect color contrast for the red Spinel. This is an exquisite combination thumbnail specimen and one of the more significant thumbnails in the collection. Studio photo by Mark Mauthner.