Neptunite on Natrolite
California State Gem Mine, Santa Rita Peak, San Benito Co., California, USA
Miniature, 4.9 x 4.5 x 3.0 cm
Ex. Gabriel Risse; Paul Stahl; John Seibel; Andy Seibel
$6,000.00 Payment Plan Available
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Neptunite, a rare titanium mineral that often forms as insignificant crystals in a few other localities, for some reason gave us giant and sharp jet black crystals from one single aberrant location on the planet, from the famous benitoite mine in northern California! Here is a razor sharp, proudly standing vertical crystal of 4.5 cm, set dramatically against natrolite matrix... the best aesthetics possible in a miniature. Although technically the location remains, the prime deposit is mostly if not entirely mined out (what once was a hill is now a valley!); and it is unlikely more will be found. Specimens of this quality dated from the 1970s and previously, and have simply not been found in extensive contemporary mining of the early 2000s. Note that in most lights this will be jet black but in some lighting, you can see flecks of red unusually. I was thrilled to find this in Europe, in the collection of Gabriel Risse, and formerly also from our friend Paul Stahl (well known for his fine taste in rare species and elegant mini/small cabs). I repatriate and buy every major Neptunite I can find if it is the black on white aesthetic I love so much - because nothing else in minerals looks like these, and they really are best of species combined with a historic and important locale. The specimen was mined and prepared by legendary Tehachapi, California-based field collector John Seibel, and went to his son Andy, who sold it to Stahl, who later sold it to Risse.