Beryl (var: aquamarine) on orthoclase, Pakistan
description: 5 1/2" tall Ex collections of Wayne Sorenson and Gene Meieran. This piece was illustrated as part of a whole showcase illustration in "The Mineralogical Record" 50 Year Anniversary of the Tucson Show supplement. This is an upper level Pakistani aquamarine cabinet specimen. I regard it very highly for the following reasons: (1) The luster of all of the crystal faces is high although maybe 9/10 instead of being 10/10 - the "polished glass luster." (2) The color of the aquamarine crystal is intense, pleasing and as seen in the photo. (3) The aquamarine crystal is mostly facet quality although there are some small veils which do not detract much from the high esthetics of this piece. (4) All of the edges, faces and vertices of the aquamarine crystal are pristine. (5) The aquamarine crystal is on "perched" on a well proportioned, attractive and contrasting matrix of bright white orthoclase feldspar. The feldspar crystal group resembles the sails of "The Sydney Opera House." It is also generally more desirable if a mineral specimen (or parts of it) resemble something familiar. (6) The provenance of this piece is also significant. The fact that two other famous mineral collectors and I all felt positive enough about this piece to acquire it credentializes its true level of quality even more. (7) It is a full sized cabinet specimen. Wayne Sorenson is one of America's top collectors of Pakistani gem crystals. He acquired many or all of them from Wayne Thompson whose many achievements include the relatively large number of upper to top level Pakistani minerals he has purveyed. Dr Gene Meieran is one of the great collectors of the world and a well known identity in the mineral collecting community. He is also one of the founders of Intel and his scientific and reference collection once consisted of around 30,000 pieces. Importantly, his more recent collecting focus has been on gem crystals. Gene's gem crystal collection contains a wonderful sub-collection of world class, worldwide aquamarine crystals and my piece was part of this sub-collection. I bought this piece in 2004. The specimen is repaired in one place at the junction between the aquamarine crystal and the orthoclase matrix. The repair is clean. In the modern market, gem crystals often have veils filled if they extend to the surface of the crystal. Other practices are also widely adopted to "tweek" specimens into what the parts of the private collector demand and this is sometimes in spite of reduction of scholarship of the specimen. This may be reasonable if one is not buying a mineral specimen as a scientific collectible. In this context and in view of the memorability and uniqueness of this piece, the repair does not "kill" this specimen. $150,000
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