Gem Spinel on marble
Pein-pyit, Pein-pyit Zone, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (Burma)
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 6.2 x 5.0 cm
Ex. William (Bill) Larson
This matrix specimen of marble features a GEM transparent crystal of red-magenta Spinel measuring 2 cm tall along that front-facing edge. It is literally a GEM crystal in matrix, with cutting rough inside. Normally such specimens are indeed cut, but this was a lucky find as Bill happened to be on the ground in Burma at the time to buy it before the crystal was popped out to send to the cutters. There is always a very small and tight window of survival for such things, because it is far easier for the miners and dealers in places like this to sell the gem rough, rather than wait for the rare traveling mineral collector to come and buy as a specimen. We have seldom seen such gemmy Spinels over 1 cm, in matrix...and neither had Bill, who kept this as the best such matrix example in the collection of approximately 1000 Burmese specimens assembled between the late 1980s and 2008. This was one of the prized display specimens, and comes with his custom lucite base.