Dims: 0.9" x 0.7" x 0.5" (2.3 x 1.8 x 1.3 cm)
Wt: 5.0 g
Gem Mine, San Benito County, California, U.S.A.
This small thumbnail specimen is actually quite impressive, even though it consists of only 4 or 5 intergrown Benitoite crystals. This is due to the fact that one of the crystals is so large that its dimensions match that of the entire specimen! The other crystals are much smaller and grow off of the larger one, which acts as a base. Though there is a small amount of human-induced damage, the crystals are in generally good condition. The largest one is not quite complete, as it is missing noticeable portions due to aberrant growth conditions and intergrowth with the surrounding base rock and associated minerals- there is a small amount of shapeless natrolite still attached in one area. Substantial portions of the crystal have a distinctly green coloration that may be caused by dust from the host rock in which it grew, but its deep blue coloration is still visible in some areas. It also shows only moderate to dim translucence in strong sunlight, but the smaller crystals show definite transparence in some areas. All have the standard trigonal tabular form, though the smaller crystals show some warping due to their intergrowth. Besides the bit of natrolite and some greenish, powdery material that lines some of the underdeveloped areas, there is no host rock.