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Spessartine from China

Over the last few years (since the very late 1990's), the market has seen some truly outstanding Spessartine Garnet specimens coming from China. I want to stress that finely crystallized Spessartines are rare from any locality, and there have truly only been two localities in the past 40 years that have produced collector quality Spessartine Garnet specimens of any significance. These localities are the Ramona area of San Diego County, California and the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Keep in mind that the large percentage of contemporary Brazilian Spessartines are off matrix, crudely crystallized, highly etched and do not have top rich orange color and the classic old Spessartines from Elba, Italy are virtually impossible to obtain, and most specimens feature relatively small crystals (only a few mm). Garnets in general, are very difficult to find in finely crystallized matrix specimens with top color, luster, sharpness and displayability. For such a broad and well known group of species, Garnets for the most part are quite elusive when it comes to top shelf, competition quality pieces.

The bottom line is that these specimens are sensational quality and you cannot find better Spessartines crystals on matrix with such rich orange color from any other contemporary locality. These new Chinese Spessartines for intents and purposes are truly some of the most exemplary pieces found. Most specimens feature textbook crystallization with mirror bright faces, water-clear clarity and rich, vivid colors. Most of the these pieces show rich orange hues, showing that there is an absence of Iron content in the crystals, meaning that these are nearly pure Manganese rich Spessartine Garnet crystals. Furthermore, it must be noted that these specimens show tremendous associations, whether it be with light colored, (almost "Alpine" quality) Smoky Quartz crystals, or dark (almost black) "morion" Smoky Quartz crystals creating a very distinct color contrast, especially when set against the lighter Orthoclase matrix and accented by the light green Muscovite crystals. These pieces are also rising in price across the board as the savvy Chinese dealers have become aware of their value, so the days of buying good Spessartines cheap seem to be gone. That combined with the fact that the locality has been producing less and less material over the last few years leads one to believe that these amazing Garnets may soon be a thing of the past. No collection is complete without one of these first-class Spessartines.

Lastly, as per usual for most of the contemporary Chinese localities, the vast majority of the material found is truly sub par quality, and it takes great patience and a trained eye to select the top pieces out of so many available. The following specimens represent a cull out of literally thousands of pieces over a few years to bring you this unique mix (no two pieces are exactly alike) showing the wide variety of associations from different pockets.

 

Enjoy !!


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(click on highlighted picture to enlarge)

Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11064a.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11064b.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11064d.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11064e.jpg]


No. SPESSCH11064 - $ 450.00

Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase

Locality: Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Specimen Size: 8.0 x 4.7 x 4.3 cm (small cabinet)
Largest Smoky Quartz crystal: 5.8 cm.


Truly the main focus of these new specimens from China is placed upon the quality and color of the Spessartines, but this piece is special for another reason. This specimen features a pair superb, razor sharp, highly lustrous, gem quality prismatic Smoky Quartz crystals aesthetically flaring out of a white Orthoclase matrix and is associated with several attractive, sparkling, bright orange color trapezohedra of Spessartine. The Smoky Quartz crystals have a top "wet" luster and are so nicely accented by the little Spessartine crystals. This piece has some of the finest aesthetics of any piece I've seen from the locality.

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(click on highlighted pictures to enlarge)

Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11065a.jpg] Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11065b.jpg] Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11065c.jpg] Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11065e.jpg] Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11065d.jpg]


No. SPESSCH11065 - SOLD

Spessartine with Muscovite on Orthoclase

Locality: Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Specimen Size: 15.7 x 6.6 x 2.7 cm (large cabinet)
Largest crystal: 0.6 cm.


This is one of the finest specimens I've seen from this locality with regard to crystal quality, balance and showiness. This is definitely one of the biggest and most impressive display specimens you'll see from this locality as well. The majority of the Spessartines from this area typically feature crystals which are intergrown, rarely giving one the opportunity to examine individual crystals. This piece shows a great balance between intergrown and isolated Spessartine crystals which show textbook trapezohedral form with dodecahedral modifications. Another great aspect of the specimen is the fact that is has no "bare spots" of coverage and will display wonderfully. The crystals are associated with small greenish colored hexagonal Muscovite blades on tan Orthoclase matrix. Virtually all of the Spessartines are extremely glassy with a rich orange color and superb gemminess. Some of the crystals are so gemmy that you can see right through them to the matrix. The sheer visceral appeal of the specimen makes this one of the most impressive and very attractive showpieces of this amazing material.



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Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067a.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067b.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067c.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067d.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067e.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh11067f.jpg]


No. SPESSCH11067 - SOLD

Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase

Locality: Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Specimen Size: 6.5 x 4.0 x 2.3 cm (small cabinet)
Largest crystal: 0.5 cm.


Here we have a very attractive and highly displayable specimen of this amazing material. The majority of the Spessartines from this area typically feature crystals which are intergrown, rarely giving one the opportunity to examine individual crystals. This piece has some great isolation between the Spessartine crystals which show textbook trapezohedral form with dodecahedral modifications. The crystals are all extremely glassy and sharp with a rich orange color and superb gemminess. Some of the crystals are so gemmy that you can see right through them to the matrix. To top if off, the Spessartines are associated with superb quality, absolutely water-clear, sharp, lustrous Smoky Quartz crystals and white blocky Orthoclase crystals. I really like how all the crystals are equally sized against one another giving a very pleasing look and tremendous balance. For the size, quality and beautiful color contrast, you can't go wrong with this little gem.



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Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611a.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611b.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611f.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611e.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611c.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110611d.jpg]


No. SPESSCH110611 - $ 450.00

Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase

Locality: Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Specimen Size: 8.3 x 6.0 x 4.5 cm (small cabinet)
Largest crystal: 0.6 cm.


This piece packs a LOT of color featuring some truly gorgeous Spessartine crystals. This specimen is loaded with dozens upon dozens of amazingly sharp, highly lustrous, gem quality, rich red-orange color Spessartine crystals showing textbook trapezohedral form with distinct dodecahedral modifications. The crystals are blanketing a matrix of tan Orthoclase crystals and give way to a predominant, sharp, gemmy Smoky Quartz crystal flaring out of the center of the specimen. Additionally, many of the Spessartine crystals are so gemmy that you can see directly through them directly down to the matrix underneath. This piece really delivers when it comes to top color, crystal size and pure visual effect.

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Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612a.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612b.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612c.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612d.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612e.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612f.jpg] Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase from Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China [./SpessChina1106/SpessCh110612g.jpg]


No. SPESSCH110612 - SOLD

Spessartine with Smoky Quartz on Orthoclase

Locality: Tongbei, Yunxiao (Yunling), Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Specimen Size: 7.3 x 6.2 x 2.6 cm (small cabinet)
Largest Smoky Quartz: 2.9 cm.


This piece really has it all ! When it comes to aesthetics, this has to be the most impressive piece in the lot. Out of literally thousands of these specimens, I've never seen another like it. The specimen is comprised of an amazingly characteristic "snowball"-shaped aggregate of white blocky Orthoclase crystals with a smattering of rich red, sharp, lustrous, gemmy Spessartine crystals accented by SUPERB, gem quality, razor sharp, prismatic Smoky Quartz crystals bursting forth from the top of the specimen. I have to stress that the quality of the Smokies is as fine as many Alpine Quartz crystals I've seen from Switzerland and Austria ! To top it off, the Smoky Quartz crystals actually have a few small, gemmy, red Spessartine crystals which are completely frozen inside and can clearly be seen with backlighting. All in all, you'd be hard pressed to find this specimen's equal from the standpoint of sheer artistic beauty and superior quality. It is ostensibly one of the most showy and eye-catching Spessartine/Smoky Quartz specimens you'll see from China or virtually any other locality.



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