Sapphire (Twinned)
Passara Gem Mine, near Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Toenail, 3.0 x 1.4 x 1.2 cm
This exceptionally sharp sapphire crystal shows flanges to the sides that reflect a rare, well-formed twinning habit. Seldom do you see such a twin in the species, and usually it is present in rather clunky crystals. Specimens this sharp are hard to get because they mostly come from the gem gravels where they have been rolled and damaged in the past. This piece, however, comes from an excavation nearby and the crystal is nearly pristine. In person, it is extremely lustrous and bright! The bottom termination extends backwards in depth, showing a SECOND twinning plane in that the bottom section is rotated 90 degrees to the main body. If you hold this in your hands, in other words, it looks in person like an airplane, with the wings (upper twin flanges) in one plane and the bottom twin (rudder analogue) rotated into another plane around the core axis. Weight is approximately 25 carats. This crystal was sold as gem rough, by weight, at one of the gem shows. The price of $100 per carat is frankly not much of a markup since I had to buy it based on its weight as gem rough that could be treated and cobbed!