Epidote (pseudo-hexagonal and slightly magnetic)

Raskoh Mts., Kharan, Balochistan, Pakistan
Ex. Ron Romanella
Small Cabinet, 9.2 x 7.2 x 4.7 cm
Start Time: 11/30/2023 7:30:00 pm (CST)
End Time: 12/07/2023 6:45:00 pm (CST)
Auction Closed

Item Description

An attractive piece that came out circa 2010-2011 from Baluchistan (where the exciting Brookite and Anatase specimens were found). These Epidotes are truly some of the most unusual and interesting examples of the you'll see for their unusual crystal form. These crystals do not have the characteristic thin prismatic appearance of those from places like Tormiq or Alchuri, but rather are opaque and blocky, with a notably darker green hue, and a distinctive secondary coating of what I'm told is Magnetite, as these crystals show a weak magnetism when exposed to magnetic objects. The main crystal on this piece has a distinctive pseudo-hexagonal habit (it's a compressed blocky prism) associated with smaller pseudo-octahedral shaped crystals which are covering both sides of the piece. The largest crystal on the specimen measures 7.1 cm, and is clearly doubly-terminated, which is not common for Epidote in my experience. Additionally, the piece is very close to being a complete "floater", as it's crystallized on all sides, and I can only see one small point of attachment, where it looks like it as intergrown with another Epidote crystal. A very attractive specimen of this now difficult to find material. It's my understanding that specimens from this find have disappeared from the market, so if you want one, pick this one up while you can.
This piece comes to us from the legendary Ron Romanella (February 28, 1932 - October 24, 2022), a well-known gem and mineral dealer from New York City. He studied mineralogy at Columbia School of Mines, and he was mentored by Dr. Frederick Pough of the American Museum of Natural History, and learned about the business side from well-known mineral dealers Hugh Ford and Maurice Hammoneau. Ron himself was a mentor to other successful East Coast mineral dealers such as Larry Conklin, Herb Obodda and even employed Dave Wilber for a time. He largely transitioned out of selling minerals as his business focused more on gems for the last few decades, and his sons Michael and Jerry have been running the family business in Scottsdale for many years now. With that said, Ron was one of the great powerhouse mineral dealers in the US for many years, offering fine quality specimens and gem crystals from classic and contemporary localities. Among his top achievements, is that Ron is credited with importing the first known crystals of Tanzanite into the US in the 1960s.

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