NEW YORK – It’s not just gold that lies in them thar hills. A startling number of treasures lurk beneath the surface of the Earth, including crystals, minerals, and semiprecious stones, and to be frank, you might like them more than gold. Some of these beauties have tough, rugged surfaces that challenge carving tools, while others yield to the merest brush of a fingernail. They take every shape you can imagine and some you can’t, and a select number boast colors that would make a rainbow look dull and uninspired. You can see it for yourself on July 27, as Jasper52 presents a 686-lot Natural Crystals, Minerals & Specimens sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Tourmaline was first described in 1554 by a Spanish explorer in Brazil who mistook it for an emerald. We now know that the gemstone comes in a wide variety of colors, not just green. The example in Lot 0658 offers three colors in one. Weighing 89 grams, or just a bit more than three ounces, the natural tourmaline boasts a top layer in a candy pink hue and a middle layer of Kool-Aid purple above a sizable section of black. Found in Paprok, Afghanistan, it carries an estimate of $2,500-$3,000.
Also of note is another prize from Afghanistan: a natural morganite crystal containing quartz and albite. Morganite is a type of beryl, and it often displays a rosy or pink color. This particular specimen weighs 1,066 grams, or about 37 ounces, and is estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
Rounding out the sale highlights is a stunning example of natural aquamarine and tourmaline, also from Afghanistan. Like morganite, aquamarine is a type of beryl. Its name comes from Latin, ‘aqua marina,’ which literally translates to ‘sea water.’ One glance at the stone explains why it merits the name. The visually striking lot features two rods of aquamarine seemingly sitting atop a base of black tourmaline schorl (a term that applies to tourmalines with black or brownish-black coloration). Weighing in at slightly more than four ounces, the specimen is estimated at $7,000-$8,000.
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