ALEXANDRITE specimen alx-11
Dims: 0.7 x 0.7 x 0.4" (1.8 x 1.8 x 1.0 cm)
Wt: 5.0 g
Malyshevo Mine, Ekaterinberg, former Sverdlowsk State, middle Urals, Russia
This small Russian thumbnail specimen consists of 9 Alexandrite crystals that are partly embedded in a dark mica-schist matrix. These crystals do not exceed 0.2" in any dimension, and 4 of them are incomplete due to the separation of the piece from its place of origin. However, those that are intact are in excellent condition, and show no damage. Their orthorhombic form is superb, and though they are either incomplete or partly buried in the matrix, most of them are twinned and might actally have formed trillings! Their faces are clean and possess a bright vitreous luster, and their edges are well-defined. Though they are too small to work, all are gem-quality or near gem-quality, as they are transparent and surprisingly clear- most contain some veil-like inclusions and one or two small, dark inclusions, but at least one has exceptional clarity. Their color ranges from a pale greenish-brown under incandescent light to a deep, almost emerald-green coloration in sunlight. I would be sorely tempted to either work at the schist with a pick, or procure some hydrofluoric acid to try to see if the crystals really did form cyclic twins.