Benitoite and Neptunite with Joaquinite-(Ce)
California State Gem Mine, Santa Rita Peak, New Idria Mining Dist., San Benito Co., California, USA
Small Cabinet, 5.3 x 4.5 x 2.8 cm
Ex. Doug Wallace

This is a choice and balanced Benitoite combination specimen from the the California State Gem Mine containing rather large Benitoite crystals, a few Neptunite prisms and a few Joaquinite-(Ce) crystals that adorn the top of this fine small cabinet piece. Remarkably, this mine is the type locality for both Benitoite and Joaquinite-(Ce)! The triangular shaped Benitoites are zoned with a stunning, thick, sapphire blue rim and a pale blue core and exhibit a satin luster on the large faces and a glassy luster on the the thin prism faces on the edges, as is typical of these. The two large Benitoites and three smaller ones loosely clustered at the center of the piece are ideally perched almost upright for ultimate displayability to show off their great form and color zoning. The two large crystals are both 2.2 cm across at their widest and the three smaller ones are between 4 mm and 1.2 cm across. There are a half dozen, slender prismatic, glossy black Neptunite crystals on the piece as well that range in size from 1 to 9 cm and two of them are laying recumbent on the piece and are doubly terminated. There are also seven, small, lustrous, orange-brown, 0.5 to 2 mm subhedral Joaquinite-(Ce) crystals concentrated in one area on the piece that add to the overall contrast in color on the specimen from the sapphire blue of the Benitoite, the jet-black of the Neptunite, snow-white of the Natrolite and then the green-gray of the serpentinite matrix to produce a marvelous, well balanced specimen! This was collected personally by our friend and local collector, Doug Wallace in 1997, with mine owner Buzz Gray. It has remained in his collection until 2021.