Aquamarine on mica, near Skardu, Pakistan.
description: 4" across This piece consist of a spectacular cluster of medium colored aquamarine crystals on an attractive matrix of silvery white and undamaged muscovite (a mica species) with a "signature" sharp "book" of mica attached to the back of the crystal group. For further emphasis, this specimen is a top level Pakistani aquamarine since: (1) All of the faces of the aquamarine crystals are as lustrous as polished glass. (2) The color is an attractive, definite, highly recognized blue of fine quality Pakistani aquamarine. (3) All of the edges, vertices and crystal faces on this specimen are pristine. (4) The crystals are on matrix. Typically a specimen with be much rarer, highly sought after and valuable if crystals are on matrix rather than loose. (5) The matrix is attractive. Instead of the matrix being a more common and relatively ugly rock matrix, this piece displays an attractive matrix of silvery, undamaged muscovite (mica). Even the muscovite crystals are separated enough from each other so their shapes and even the texture on the faces is easily seen. (6) There is color and texture contrast between the matrix and the aquamarine crystals. (7) This piece is particularly desirable since it consist of a bold and sculptural CLUSTER of aquamarine crystals on matrix. Most other matrix aquamarine specimens are single crystals. (8) The "book" of mica attached to the back of the two dominant crystals of this specimen adds a lot to its general esthetics and is a trait that makes the specimen even more "memorable" despite the fact I have seen thousands of aquamarine specimens in museums and private collections all over the world. The largest crystal contains one internal veil which extends to the surface. This veil was cleaned and sealed with acrylic resin at "Mile High Mineral" in Denver, Colorado. Enhancements on high value gem crystal specimens are not uncommon and this is especially so since it is generally not possible to know whether a sealed veil inside a gem is present or not simply by looking at the crystal. Unlike me, many venders will not disclose repair or restoration to a purchaser if they can get away with it and some will not even put any statement on the public record which relates to repair, restoration or even authenticity. I often "benchmark" my specimens against well known pieces that are illustrated in the popular literature of specimen focused mineral collectors. Another more famous Pakistani aquamarine cluster of around the same size was in the collections of Dr Peter Bancroft of Fallbrook, California and Sandor Fuss of Denver, Colorado. I personally feel that my piece is at least as esthetic. It begs repeated illustration in popular collector focused mineral magazines to render it world famous. I have imported minerals directly from Afghanistan into Australia for years and obtained this specimen as a result.
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