Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

    This is a classic, composite specimen, mixing pink Morganite with heavily included Quartz on a Cleavelandite matrix. The combination, and particularly the type of inclusions just under the surface of the Quartz are about all the corroboration needed in order to establish this groups origin. The Morganite shows the stout barrel shape and pink coloration typical for Morganites of the district. In the mine, that color started out as a light apricot hue that almost instantly changes to pink when the crystals are first exposed to daylight. This reaction is irreversible and quite fascinating to observe. The stubby Quartz crystals bear a light smoky body color that is largely obscured by microscopic inclusions of a clay mineral, frequently referred to as Montmorillonite. Bladed Cleavelandite of a faint blue color forms the matrix for the combination. It tends to form the 'wall-rock' of the pegmatite cavities of the area. The luster shown by the Morganite varies from a quite glassy to a softer version of the same thing, depending on which face is being observed in reflection. The same can also be said of the Quartz prisms that partially surround the Morganite. The Morganite is in pristine condition, with no nicks or dings and the Quartz bears one bruise on its back, otherwise excellent condition. The bottom of the group has been sawn, probably to reduce the overall size, emphasize the Morganite, and provide a stable base. There are two labels accompanying the piece and a note indicating that the specimen was part of the collection of Charles Steen, millionaire mining entrepreneur and all around "colorful character" who found the fabulously productive "Mi Vida" Uranium Mine. The specimen is a true classic of Southern California minerals.
    Overall measurements: 6.5 x 4.5 x 3.25 inches (16.5 x 11.4 x 8.3 cm).

    Provenance: Western Minerals [Hoppel # D0217]

    Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 635

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