Neptunite, Benitoite on Natrolite
California State Gem Mine, Santa Rita Peak, San Benito Co., California, USA
Miniature, 5.3 x 4.0 x 3.1 cm

This is a stunning Neptunite miniature that is set off nicely by a trio of Benitoite crystals, from THE locality for the species. A commanding, lustrous, black Neptunite stands right off the snow-white Natrolite matrix on this killer miniature. This crystal is literally as good as it gets for the species in the size. It stands 3.5 cm tall and is nearly a centimeter across. For accent it has a few smaller crystals in parallel growth at its sides. It also sports a perfect pyramidal termination. A nearby, 1.6 cm Neptunite sits vertically off the matrix and there are two dozen smaller, jet-black, prismatic Neptunites sprinkled about the contrasting white Natrolite, nearly all of them well terminated. The three, sapphire-blue Benitoite crystals are on the right side of the piece and display good color and luster, ranging in size from 0.7 to 1.4 cm across. They are mostly exposed from the contrasting Natrolite and are in perfect condition. This is just a perfectly composed and well-balanced combination specimen from the classic, California State Gem Mine! The location is not gone, but is more or less strip mined out. We do not expect more specimens of quality to be found. This is an old one.