Spessartine Garnet on Albite
Little Three Mine, Ramona, California, USA
Small Cabinet, 9.3 x 7.3 x 6.0 cm
A stunning specimen with an approx 1-inch red-orange garnet perched atop a snowy-white mass of albite and schorl. This is CLASSIC in style for the mine, but good garnets of this size are seldom preserved. One reason is the severe etching tht occurs in situ at this mine usually dissolved the garnets away.Larger garnets often are so far gone, t ehy fall to pieces and cannot be extracted. However, here we have a larger crystal that was gently etched in the pocket, but not so much as to lose its form or fall off matrix. Instead, the gentle etching effect has given it thousands of facets to reflect light from, making for a great display in a showcase. Probably only a few dozen important specimens with matrix bound, unrepaired crystals of this size have survived - most from mining in the 1960s and early 1970s. Despite numerous other finds of the species wordlwide, this San Diego material has a style all its own, instantly recongnizable and highly desired by US collectors.