Phlogopite in Calcite
Franklin, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA
Small Cabinet, 8.6 x 7.1 x 6.4 cm
Franklin minerals do not tend to be, very often, what you could call "gemmy." Even by a stretch. Most muscovite I have seen from there follows this rule of thumb, and although they have fantastic barrel-shaped form, tend to be dark and opaque. This specimen, which I got from Phil Scalisi's collection last year, stunned me. It is the quality of gem muscovite from Afghanistan which we see very rarely come out, but this is from Franklin, 100%. It is beautiful, and a significant Franklin specimen, AND just a really fine muscovite crystal by any standard. The crystal is complete all around and measures 3 x 2 x 2 cm. It has been very carefully excavated from calcite matrix to display this robustly atop a natural perch. These photos show it with MINIMAL backlighting. With a closer light, it glows more deeply, and a more golden hue. Scalisi said he obtained it decades ago from Ward's Science Est., who had it from an old collection at the time.