Spessartine with Schorl on Albite
Little 3 Mine, Ramona, San Diego Co., California, USA
Miniature, 4.0 x 3.4 x 2.5 cm
Ex. Tim Sherburn

One of the all-time classics of collecting gem crystals from Southern California, San Diego, or USA in general, is to obtain a San Diego spessartine garnet specimen of good quality. These generally came out between the 1950s-mid 1980s under the management of Louis Spaulding, Sr. and his son, Louis, Jr. The problem with the deposit is that it is all cracked up and ripped apart in geologic time from ancient traumas… reducing the number of surviving specimens, large specimens, or complete crystals. To make it worse, apparently hot fluids in the pockets resorbed/dissolved some of the spessartine after they formed; most larger garnet crystals show what looks like dissolution or etching patterns from these liquids in these pockets. It is hard enough to find a complete fine garnet crystal over 1 cm (this is 1.5 cm across). It is even more rare to find a garnet WITH schorl tourmaline in combination and on an intact matrix. This choice miniature has all of that together - no repairs. It is from the well known California gem suite of Tim Sherburn's collection.