Natrolite (RARE crystals!) on matrix

San Benito County, California
10.6 x 5.6 x 4.6 cm
Start Time: 08/22/2019 6:45:00 pm (CDT)
End Time: 08/29/2019 6:45:00 pm (CDT)
Auction Closed

Item Description

Everybody is familiar with the world-class Benitoite crystals from San Benito County which are very often hidden in a layer of massive (uncrystallized) white Natrolite that has to be dissolved away to reveal the Benitoites inside. THIS piece however features no Benitoite but is immensely valuable since it features incredibly hard to find euhedral terminated crystals(!) of Natrolite covering the entire display side of the specimen. There are a few dozen sharp, well-formed, thick, tetragonal prisms with four-sided pyramidal terminations measuring up to 1.2 cm long sitting on a layer of blue-grey host rock matrix. Nearly every Natrolite on the top / display side are undamaged and a couple show minor greenish inclusions of Clinochlore(?) to give them a distinctive appearance that allows them to be easily discernible from the others. I've seen singles and a few intergrown prisms of Natrolite from this locality, but I've never seen a cabinet sized display piece like this. If you collect California minerals, this is a MUST HAVE in terms of rarity as it is the best I've seen, and truly a one-of-a-kind since I have nothing to compare it to. The piece is accompanied by an old Pala International label, and was valued in our inventory at $3,000 for the superb quality and incredible scarcity of the piece.