An elegant Navegadora spessartine, this complex crystal shows prominent dodecahedral forms, with superb lustre and wonderful deep internal red under the lights. In excellent condition – if you’re looking for them, you can find very minor rubs in a couple of places and a couple of tiny chips around the side/back as displayed (fouth photo).
The Navegadora spessartines present a challenge of size-colour balance – the larger ones are very dark (and won’t even show this deep internal red with backlighting, only glints), the smallest ones are easily perceived as red. The this one has good size while showing the best red colour and the crystal sharpness. This is a great spessartine crystal, with wonderfully intricate crystallization.
This spessartine can look different in different lighting conditions. The photographs here are meant to convey the lustre, the incredible detail, the superb internal colour when well lit from behind, and also the dark appearance in lower light conditions. When looking at this specimen under modest light, it is dark red, with glints of transparent red (as shown in the third and fourth photos). Under display lights, the lustre is superb. Examined with strong light from behind, this crystal is intense red.
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About these Spessartines
These spessartines are from the famous March 2003 pocket at the Navegadora Mine. The Navegadora Mine exploits a pegmatite and produces feldspar for commercial purposes – It is not mined for specimens, and this pocket was unique. In an article in Rocks and Minerals (“Spessartine from the Navegadora Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil” Vol. 84, Jan-Feb 2009) author John White discusses how these spessrtines formed. While etching was involved, the specific mechanism that resulted in the final forms of these etched crystals remains a mystery.