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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
June 25, 2017, 05:22:08 am
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Faceted Chatoyant Alexandrite Snuff Bottle

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Author Topic: Faceted Chatoyant Alexandrite Snuff Bottle  (Read 256 times)
George
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« on: March 14, 2017, 03:48:49 pm »

Upright 2 7/8" rectangular, sharp well defined facets on a flat base, the sides with angled facets from the edges to flat center and side panels. The mouth opening with a slight bevel to accommodate old school style string wrapped stoppers.

I have searched high and low, and this style of faceting seems rare. I have only found similar examples on a 1760 - 1840 dated jade, and oddly also on a 1916 Ma Shaoxuan signed crystal octagonal faceted bottle. 

Having only lapidary experience, I lack a great deal when it comes to correctly identifying precious gem grade stones precisely, as compared to semi-precious minerals. I have worked with many chatoyant minerals, but not like this precious example.

As best I can determine, I want to describe this as a chatoyant fibrous inclusioned alexandrite ..

I have not had the opportunity to double check with incandescent light which apparently will change to a red to purplish-red color. That is a test yet to come, but at the moment I am comfortable with labeling it alexandrite. I may well end up having it tested via local GIA next week so as to be 100% satisfied as there is one other possible in the back of my mind called Indigolite Tourmaline... 

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl, a strongly pleochroic (trichroic) gem will exhibit emerald green, red and orange-yellow colors depending on viewing direction in partially polarized light. 

However, fine-color high A-AAA grade alexandrite has a green to bluish-green color like appears for this bottle in daylight, and is an extremely rare material. Tried to get a pic that shows the greenish tint, but not getting it to show..

Alexandrite is usually faceted, and sources include, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Soviet Russia, Brazil, Zimbabwe Rhodesia, Burma.

Enjoy !



* alexandrite8.jpg (100.27 KB, 325x516 - viewed 23 times.)

* alexandrite1.jpg (87.83 KB, 275x434 - viewed 16 times.)

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* alexandrite5.jpg (91.07 KB, 313x480 - viewed 15 times.)

* alexandrite6.jpg (107.89 KB, 397x607 - viewed 19 times.)

* alexandrite7.jpg (115.53 KB, 377x549 - viewed 15 times.)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 06:43:48 pm by George » Report Spam   Logged

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Pat - 查尚杰
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 09:00:55 pm »

George,

Are you sure this is not opalized glass?  I think I have seen these in several colors in China when I arrived in 1999.  After a few years they sort of disappeared...



* Opal Glass.jpg (110.04 KB, 800x1137 - viewed 12 times.)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 09:11:20 pm by Pat - 查尚杰 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 09:33:20 pm »

I can not tell looking at your example if the fibers can be seen perhaps on the side of it.. They are very apparent on mine, and the chatoyant is very strong.. I do not know if an opalized glass can imitate the fibers like this.. My first guess is not glass, but I can certainly be mistaken..

Thank you for the comparison !

I really am going to take this to a GIA next few days as am not 100% about it my any means..

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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 09:42:51 pm »

I have seen glass ones with very strong fibers, but curious to see what GIA says about yours.
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 10:17:40 pm »

I have seen glass ones with very strong fibers, but curious to see what GIA says about yours.

Well, no need for a GIA... I just looked inside... It appears to be glass.. No grind marks at all.. Natural rough glass interior surface..

Why I did not think to check the interior is beyond me .. I really suck ! 
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 10:25:49 pm »

I notice Skinners describes that bottle as a dyed green tiger's eye quartz..

https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2591B/lots/423
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 10:35:50 pm »

I heard it is basically made like crystal with some process to dye and provide the chatoyancy, but quartz it's NOT.  Its been described to me as opalized glass.  Some dealers in China at the time admitted to deterioration over time.  That's probably the reason they don't show up anymore.

And no you don't suck... Just got a bit excited so you ignore the basics.  We all do at times  Tongue Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 10:50:41 pm »

I find it surprising that who ever faceted this, did it in this way.. 

I could only find a couple of snuff bottle examples any place that were faceted this way with the sides that have angled facets from all the edges and as well to the flat center and side panels..  Kind of amazing in a way that the carver choose this particular style of faceting for this bottle..   


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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 10:59:22 pm »

Glad to see the mystery solved! When I saw the topic heading "Alexandrite" my eyes lit up. Apart from snuff bottles I collect mineral specimens. I have been after an Alexandrite sample for many years. It is extremely rare and expensive - always been way beyond my reach, even for one weighing a few grams !!!  Rubies and sapphires can be cheaper.  Wink

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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 03:39:08 pm »

Glad to see the mystery solved!

Not so sure yet Tom... I keep looking at the interior, and comparing to other known carved out bottles.. Can not say for sure it is a lot different... Taking it in to have it looked at next week..

I keep coming back to alexandrite/chrysoberyl possibility...  Some close up pics give me the impression this structure is natural..

Still crossing my fingers...  Wink


* afiber1.jpg (122.42 KB, 776x443 - viewed 19 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2017, 04:42:21 pm »

I am following this thread with interest because I have a yellow chatoyant bottle.

I also can't figure out what it's made of - my best guess is that it's cymophane.
Editing this post now: this was an early bottle purchase - went back and looked at my notes and saw that it couldn't be cymophane (or cat's eye) because the specific gravity was too low - it comes in at 2.7 so it must be some sort of glass. Looking at wikipedia under "chatoyancy" I see this: "Glass optical cable can also display chatoyancy if properly cut, and has become a popular decorative material in a variety of vivid colors."
I am afraid that may be what we both have. Sad  Do a search for images with key words "chatoyant fiber optic"

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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 04:57:52 pm »

Maybe it is just me Cathy, but I can not see any chatoyant .. Looks like straight yellow glass to me..  Huh
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 05:12:02 pm »

Yeah - not a good picture - but trust me it's there. I edited my earlier post - did you see? I think both of ours are fiber optic glass Sad
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 06:00:46 pm »

I am really going to let this rest Cathy... I just sort of wanted to share a macro pic for Tom and others more experienced with gem grade minerals to have a look..

Taking it to be certified next week..

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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 03:22:19 am »

George,

Are you sure this is not opalized glass?  I think I have seen these in several colors in China when I arrived in 1999.  After a few years they sort of disappeared...



Well after checking with some local jewelry/gem stores for help, getting similar feedback Pat.. Although they could not be completely positive. Not going to spend the money for GIA, as I think you are correct.. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2017, 09:33:39 pm »

George

Happy I could save you some money...

Best!

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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2017, 09:42:05 pm »

I have never heard of glass optical cable before. I've learned something new!
I wonder if this is a by-product of fibre optic cable....

Tom
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2017, 05:31:23 am »

Guys,
   
     I don't even know what 'chatoyant' means or refers to, but is 'fibre option cable' a 'correction' by an iPAD of 'fibre optic cable'? 
     My iPAD has been 'correcting' my typing occasionally, and producing bloopers.
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I have never heard of glass optical cable before. I've learned something new!
I wonder if this is a by-product of fibre option cable....

Tom
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2017, 05:34:19 am »

That's the wonder of 'auto-correct'....!
(Now corrected 'manually')  Wink
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