Cabinet, 11.7 x 9.7 x 4.4 cm
Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA
Ex. William (Bill) Larson
At 671 grams, this translucent, very richly-colored pink morganite is certainly among the larger single morganite crystals to come from the County as a whole. It is visually impressive, and very colorful for a morganite from any US locale, for that matter. It is a floater, completely terminated on much of the backside if admittedly rough in texture there. It is not quite pristine, but the few spots of edge wear are not so distracting either. It has one very clean, well-done repair in the middle. However, what is more important than the size and obvious color appeal is to realize that it is a very rare survivor from the era in which morganite was named in honor of his patron JP Morgan, by the gret gemologist Kunz. He was at the time working for Tiffany on location in San Diego, and buying up the various gem crystals produced by the Himalaya. Bill Larson thinks this came out prior to 1910. It was one of two famous specimens bequeathed to Cal Tech by the wealthy collector and industrialist TW Warner Jr. from his personal collection (regarded at the time as the single most significant San Diego collection assembled in the era). How many survive as crystals, instead of gems now? Probably, not very many. Bill Larson had told me that although he knew of one better, and a rumor of another, this was always the best Himalaya mine morganite he could go after and in the end, obtained it by exchange. He regarded it as a core specimen in the collection, not just for the color, but even more for its historic import to the mine and the species. Fine morganites of this size were not found agai at the Himalaya in later years despite much searching!