Benitoite (rare crystal shape) with Neptunite
California State Gem Mine, Santa Rita Peak, San Benito Co., California, USA
Miniature, 3.9 x 3.2 x 3.2 cm
Ex. Robert E. Reynolds
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This is a stunning, dramatic and very atypical Benitoite specimen from the type locality for the species and it's associated with some great and freestanding Neptunite crystals! Wow, this single Benitoite crystal is incredibly well formed, has uniform and somewhat unusual deep blue-green color and weird mirror-like luster that is off the charts and very different from your normal "blue triangle" style on these...it sparkles from glassy faces everywhere on the crystal! And there is no white core, no usual satin luster, no pyramidal point: just a bright, crazy sharp, pseudohexagonal crystal that measures 2 cm across! For excellent balance and composition, there is a 3.3 cm long, robust, jet-black Neptunite crystal on the opposite side of the piece that is terminated on the display side. It's composed of one main crystal and several other smaller crystals in tight, parallel growth. The Neptunite and Benitoite are separated by a septa of light colored serpentinite matrix that has a thin veneer of white Natrolite for added texture and contrast resulting in an incredibly aesthetic piece. There is a small cluster of Neptunite crystals on the backside of the piece tool along with a few other tiny isolated crystals scattered on the matrix. A remarkable and unique Benitoite-Neptunite specimen. Ex John Seibel (who collected and prepared it) to Bob Reynolds, former curator of the San Bernardino County Museum. Bob amassed a large and significant collection with an emphasis on fine San Benito specimens. This is perhaps the rarest style of benitoite crystallization, and on an aesthetic specimen as well.