Benitoite and Neptunite
Gem Mine, San Benito Co., California, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.2 x 5.4 x 3.3 cm
Ex. Dr. Marvin Rausch
$24,000.00 Payment Plan Available
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Neptunite is one of the ultimate American classics for rarity and locality, and yet also happens to be, by far, the world's best of species from this American locale in Northern California. While we have all seen many representative examples of the species, this one is truly stellar, world class, and irreplaceable. The specimen is a display sized matrix of natrolite hosting a crossed pair of large, fine, lustrous neptunite crystals. The large crystal is doubly terminated and 6 cm from tip to tip! It stands proud and dramatic like a black X marking the spot on matrix where it leaps out in three dimensions. Small benitoites serve as accent for color, but the jet black is so black and rich, that is really is colorful in and of itself. The luster is the most insane, crazy luster you can ask for on a neptunite. The terminations are sharp and also lustrous. This quality was limited to but a few pieces in all the history of the mine. Marv Rausch was an East Coast doctor known for his fine taste in exquisite quality in cabinet specimens, at a time (1960s-1980s) when most collectors paid for size over perfection. He required perfection and no damage or repairs when possible. We bought this as a large plate, approx. 10 inches across, when his collection was sold by Gene Schlepp back in the early 2000s. At that time, when we first sold it to a collection, the neptunite X was centered in the middle of the large plate but it was big and overbearing to the neptunites. Later, we trimmed it, to isolate and emphasize the neptunite itself. Now, the piece sits naturally and stands vertically to display the neptunites reaching up and out, on a perfect small cabinet specimen. It is among best of species, best in size class, and what's more, an actually important American historic specimen. Lastly, we have Marv's original custom label where he went all out on detail: he notes this is one of the 4 large plates recovered by legendary field collector and Benitoite mine specialist John Seibel from "the boulder"- a 4 ton slab that produced a few large specimens back in 1988, when John sold it to Marvin.