Tanzanite with Calcite
Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mtns., Simanjiro Dist., Manyara Region, Tanzania
Small Cabinet, 9.3 x 5.9 x 3.7 cm

We often see tanzanite crystals but since they are so rare we almost never see them except in books, we seldom step back and ask, but what about matrix pieces?...I want a matrix piece, when possible. This is a rare example because of several qualities: It is big and unrepaired; on matrix not just of the typical massive rock but of crystalline calcite in particular - which gives color contrast as a bonus; it has natural color (untreated by heat); and happens to be free of damage and very, very aesthetic. The video hopefully helps convey how dramatic this imposing small cabinet sized specimen is, and it is even better in person. Size is large - at 179 grams, it is hefty. We had the good fortune to be there at just the right time when a Tanzanian gem dealer arrived to Munich show a few years ago, and purchased this dirty and uncleaned from the mine. It is, really, a true rarity. Moreover, we got lucky on the buy and so I think the price reflects that, whereas usually matrix tanzanites of any size, even if repaired and damaged (which this is not), can cost 6 figures. It is a rare find.