This great star muscovite specimen has two prominent features. At the top there is a gorgeous 3.5 cm ball of muscovite stars. And at the lower left there is a large star approximately 3.7cm across. A few light rubs to tips, and minor spots of damage but the aesthetics of this piece make up for it – from the main viewing angle (first photo) no issue for me – small and not distracting. (Note: the light-coloured spot on the ball in the second photo is a reflection, not a scuff or damage.) The ball gives this one real character – very different and striking.
About these Muscovites
Like most good mineral collectors, I have – once in a while – cursed micas. But in fact I feel that the mica group minerals are under-appreciated. (This seems like a good blog post topic so I’ll come back to it then… ). The famous “star micas” from the Jenipapo Mine are an excellent reason to look more closely – that is just awesome crystal morphology, period.
Although the specimens from this mine are well known and have at times been produced in significant numbers I have looked at hundreds), there are usually two major issues with the star micas: (1) usually they are damaged beyond any point of acceptability and (2) many have been soaked in oil to deepen the yellow colour, leaving them pretty sad looking. There’s little worse in Mineral World than a damaged, oiled mica.
Anyway. I went through a large excellent lot and picked the very best – these are rare quality “star muscovites”!