Spessartine Garnet with Smoky Quartz
Wushan Spessartine Mine, Tongbei, Fujian, China
Cabinet, 12.2 x 9.0 x 8.6 cm
Ex. Dr. Ed David

These Spessartine-Quartz combinations are some of the most attractive and highly displayable specimens to come out of China, or anywhere for that matter, now as famous in the mineral world as any other older classic combo material. This particular piece features hundreds of sparkling, lustrous, gemmy, wine-red-orange Spessartine trapezohedra measuring up to 1 cm across associated with glassy, transparent to translucent Smoky Quartz crystals. This is an old style that only came out in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This specimen was in Ed David's collection, #46J, and I happen to know that he purchased it in the 1990s, as it was among the first good examples to come out to market and carries a Wilensky dealer label from the 1990s. For what it is worth, at a time we did not even have the correct locality on most Chinese minerals, and so it is attributed to the wrong province on the old label, and at a higher price as it was at the time such a rarity. The Spessartine Garnets adorn the underlying Quartz-Feldspar matrix and nicely accent the base of the four Smoky Quartz crystals, two of which are growing in tandem. The Quartz crystals have a turbid bright interior with lovely smoky, transparent tips with all of them having perfect terminations. The Garnets have a rich red-orange hue due to their nearly pure manganese content and are very attractive. The smaller crystals are more transparent and gemmy, whereas the large ones are more translucent and have a richer color. This is just a beautifully composed piece of an older style, characteristic of the Wild West days of mineral dealing in China.