Although gemologists deal primarily with fashioned gemstones, some crystal specimens are far too attractive as intact objects to be used as cutting rough. This is particularly true if they contain eye-visible inclusions like those seen in the 247.02 ct transparent yellow fluorite partial crystal shown in figure 1.
At 40.04 mm in its longest dimension, this specimen invites exploration of its inclusions, which were identified as barite using laser Raman microspectrometry. The larger of the two barites measures 7.0 mm in diameter and has a microscopically prominent rectangular purple spot on the apex of its dome (figure 2), which clearly stands out against the stark white background provided by the barite inclusion. Although the cause of the spot is unclear, the contrasting assemblage of colors adds to this specimen’s value as an aesthetic collector piece.
The Carlsbad and New York laboratories and schools will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. These locations will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, May 29.