Considering the size, luster, gemminess
and, especially, the color of the crystals, it's no wonder they are so highly regarded: fine tanzanite has a richness and depth of color that even the finest sapphire cannot match.
The crystals have more green and less yellow than the Brazilian ones, and generous swaths of internal gemminess
, but every last crystal I saw is chipped, bashed, wilbered, etc.
Although the amethyst crystals lack the high luster and total gemminess
of the best from Jacksons Crossroads, Georgia, they are impressive for size alone, and also for sharpness and general aesthetic quality; they were selling well.
Even though the faces are striated rather than mirror-smooth the crystals do make a stunning impression by virtue of their excellent form, gemminess
and (most of all) gorgeous orange color.
Well, the good news is that a pocket found in late 2005 in the Baxao mine yielded about 100 loose crystals, these having the same high luster, complete gemminess
, and odd color scheme, but with no etching, meaning that all prism faces are mirror-smooth and that complex systems of pyramidal terminations are evident.
To look at the villiaumite crystals is instantly to think of grossular crystals from the Jeffrey mine in Quebec, as the vivid orange color, high luster, and complete gemminess
are the same.
In the Clarion, Linus Keating of Arizona Lapidary & Gem Rough (ArizonaLapidaryGemRough@yahoo.com) had a few such crystal groups, mostly miniatures (and one very fine thumbnail), showing fairly sharp rhodonite crystals to 5 cm, all incomplete but with areas of rich, deep pink gemminess
. And at the Westward Look show, Mike Bergmann had a piece from this occurrence which in some ways might be called the finest rhodonite specimen in the world: it is, so far, quality-wise, absolutely one-of-a-kind ...
Although the individual crystals rarely exceed about 1 cm across, they solidly cover the cavity linings in a very brilliant show of luster, gemminess
A very thin alteration rind, unfortunately, renders some surfaces of all of these crystals, and all surfaces of some of them, an opaque chalky white, but the internal yellow gemminess
dominates in the best specimens.
The color is a rich medium green, and gemminess
is total (unless you subtract points for the inevitable small etching channels).
Around 1983 some extraordinary anglesite crystals began coming out of Morocco; they had a beautiful brownish red color and high degree of gemminess
. They sold for high prices, but a few people were suspicious because the color was only skin-deep, on broken surfaces as well as crystal surfaces.
The blades are vividly lustrous, milky white through most of their length but showing a palest blue gemminess
near their fiat-topped ends; 30 or 40 are doubly terminated.