Andradite (Var: Demantoid)
Franscia Mine, Campo Franscia, Lanterna Valley, Malenco Valley, Sondrio Province, Lombardy, Italy
Miniature, 4.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 cm
This is clearly one of the great Italian Alpine classics. Andradite variety demantoid garnets from Val Malenco (the Malenco Valley) are some of the most prized Alpine garnet specimens in the world. This very showy specimen features a "ball" of matrix covered with sharp, gemmy, lustrous, rich green color dodecahedra which measure up to 6 mm. The very sculptural, shoe-looking, matrix, in this case, is fibrous asbestos. These specimens are very difficult to obtain now.