Aquamarine, Erongo Mountains, Namibia
description: T 2" tall Unlike thousands of other Erongo aquamarine crystals, this piece displays the following desirable traits: (a) All of its faces are as lustrous as polished glass. (b) The aquamarine crystal is all facet quality. (c) The aquamarine crystal also contrast with a glossy black crystal of schorl. (d) The schorl to aquamarine ratio is desirable since neither species is of a size that overpowers the other. The Erongo mountains have produced aquamarine since at least 2000. The specimens are "mined" from granitic pockets by artisan miners. The "mining" process is fraught with the added difficulty of the need for miners to negotiate through narrow vertical tunnels which are barely wide enough to fit a man. To say the least,the working conditions for Namibian artisan miners who remove pegmatite species is Spartan. These working conditions prevail in one of the most arid and sparsely populated countries on earth. In view of the context in which this specimen was removed from a gem pocket, production of truly fine gem crystals from the Erongos will never be easy and this will prevent fine Erongo Mountains gem crystals from ever appearing on the international mineral specimen market in quantity despite demand for really fine pieces generally exceeding supply. $9500

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