- Babingtonite on Calcite
- Cabinet, 9.4 x 7.2 x 4.5 cm
- Hongquizhen Quarry, Meigu Co., Liangshan, Sichuan Province, China
Lustrous and translucent, colorless crystals of calcite to 3 cm across form an agglomerated and very bizarre matrix for a single rather large crystal of jet-black babingtonite, 3.7 cm in length! This crystal is starkly frozen there in place, in its translucent "ice" of calcite so that you really have to look closely to believe this is real. It is tabular, doubly terminated, lustrous and just plain sharp in a crystallographic sense - blocky in its geometry, perhaps, more than elegant as with some others here. Yet it is elegantly perched in the matrix. For that matter it displays well from either side; a second crystal under the first one, 4 cm across, is a bonus. but I personally like the display face better from the front, showing the more isolated crystal above the calcites. I have not seen another of such quality, for this association with calcite, from here. These remarkable specimens, where even the mid-range material is better than the best of species ever seen from anywhere else, come out of a very small, previously insignificant quarry that, according to Mindat.org, is simply worked by the local farmers. This is a large and showy specimen at, I think, a fair price for the size and quality.