near Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Thumbnail, 1.3 x 1.3 x 0.6 cm
Taaffeeite was an odd story - a gem crystal species first identified from gem rough material, rather than from a crystal. It was a long time before anybody found a crystal to work with, and today they are still extremely rare, probably the rarest and most desirable of the various gem species found in Sri Lanka. This remarkable floater, complete hexagonal crystal is considered by the gem trade experts, Bill Pinch, and others to whom I showed it at Tucson to be the world's best yet known for species. It would also cut one of the largest known stones and perhaps the best, as it has good uniform purple color. Most specimens are tiny broken chunks, or the occasionally fine transparent crystal with SOME faces. This is COMPLETE all around. It is so remarkable, it is off the charts. The crystal's rear face was polished slightly for a refractive index test, just to be sure of its verification (this is an important test for the species) .