Aquamarine & cassiterite, Sichuan, China
description: 4 3/4" ac The mineral combination manifested on this piece only occurs at this locality as eye visible crystals. This piece was very difficult to photograph. It is much more impressive "in person." Four tabular aquamarine crystals are present on this piece. Three of them are so clear that they are almost invisible. All of their faces are as lustrous as polished glass with general condition that is wonderfully high although there is a blemish on this piece: a shallow, eye visible pit is present on the end face of the largest aquamarine crystal. The pit is small. and I have seen other high value Sichuan aquamarine crystals with substantially more damage. The pit is almost easier to feel than it is to see. The pit is not clear in this photo. The aquamarine crystals of this piece strongly colored relative to other high quality aquamarine specimens collected at this locality. The aquamarine of this piece is pale compared with aquamarine from other important aquamarine localities in Minas Gerais, Pakistan, Nigeria and Namibia. Almost incredibly, the second species present on this specimen is cassiterite. All of the edges, vertices and faces of the crystalline cassiterite are perfect. The cassiterite is jet black and as lustrous as polished glass. The crystals that comprise the cassiterite crystal group are arranged somewhat like a flower. This piece also displays wonderful composition. The cassiterite and aquamarine compliment each other almost like ebony and ivory complimented one in perfect harmony as related in that great song about this couple. Both the cassiterite and the aquamarine are perched in the centre of a well proportioned and contrasting matrix covered with silvery muscovite.
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