Apatite on Quartz
Panasquieira Mines, Panasquiera Covilha
Castelo Branco District,
4.5 x 2 x 1.5 CM (miniature)
A very choice piece, this is a glass clear quartz crystal hosting several purple gem Apatites. The quartz is perfectly terminated, overall sharp and impressive in person, in very fine condition. Strong magnification reveals some tiny Siderite crystals. The Apatites have some slight zonation and have top luster. Not a typical Panasqueira specimen, and far more esthetic than average.
The Tongbei finds about 10 years ago produced a few excellent Fluorites in several colors and habits. When associated with Spessartine as is this example, it makes for nice esthetics. A good example here in fine condition, the Fluorite is an elongated octahedron and has clear zoning, slightly etched faces and is transparent.
The Colombian pink Apatites from La Marina are very desirable but very hard to get in any quality. There have been no new finds for the past few years, and the La Marina mine is currently idle. This is an older piece from the 2003-4 era, and has good color. Some of the later Apatites were found to fade and became colorless, but this is the older color-stable type. Minor edge wear is noted mostly on the backside, but overall in very good shape for one of these.