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La Belle De Jour is a giant emerald matrix, in natura, weighing 256 pounds. It's a remarkable work of art by Nature and will be shown at the Palm Beach Show in Palm Beach, Florida, February 11-16, 2021. Edward Alton of Edward Alton Designs takes us on a tour of this one-of-a-kind specimen and the exquisite base he created for it.

A Giant Emerald Matrix

After more than 600 million years underground, this specimen was unearthed on a sunny day in Serra da Carnaíba, in the province of Bahia, Brazil. Extracted from a depth of over 500 ft (~150 m), this beautiful, large black schist contained nine large clusters of emerald crystals as well as green beryls.

The formation of this specimen began during the Precambrian period of Earth's prehistory, which spans from 4.6 billion years ago to 541 million years ago.

Our specimen was baptized with the name of La Belle De Jour. Everyone who laid their eyes on it immediately admired it. On March 27, 2018, the piece was imported into the United States. Florida became its new temporary home.

The Artistic Process

The copper base weighs over 80 pounds and took over 500 hours to complete. It took a combination of modeling, hand carving, and casting to go from imagination to stone model to copper cast. This base is a masterpiece in itself, showcasing the emerald matrix in all its splendor.

The green variety of the mineral species beryl (Be3Al2Si6O18) with trace amounts of chromium (Cr) and/or vanadium (Va) as the cause of color. 

Emerald

Another green variety of beryl with trace amounts of iron (Fe) as the cause of color. This variety shows a green to slightly yellowish green color and lacks the bright, blueish green tone of emerald. Green beryls also occur more frequently than emeralds.

Green Beryl

In geology, the material that embeds something, such as the natural rock that holds crystals, fossils, pebbles, mineral veins, and the like. 

Matrix

This sulfide mineral (MoS2) is an ore for the metal molybdenum. It looks like graphite and has a greasy feel and a lead gray color. Slices of this material are actually flexible.

Molybdenite

Overall, it measures approximately 20 x 14.5 x 15 inches (~50.8 x 36.8 x 38.1 cm). Its widest circumference measures 54 inches (~137 cm). It weighs a solid 256 pounds (~116.2 kg). This specimen shows no evidence of polishing, repair, or other type of enhancement.

Terminations

Mineral crystals that display a uniform cross section and well-developed, prism-like faces.

Prismatic

The following definitions will help you understand the detailed description of the La Belle De Jour.

Definitions

An Overview of La Belle De Jour

La Belle De Jour is a large black matrix containing prismatic, non-terminated emerald crystals, massive green beryl blocks, and anhedral molybdenite crystals. Overall, it measures approximately 20 x 14.5 x 15 inches (~50.8 x 36.8 x 38.1 cm). Its widest circumference measures 54 inches (~137 cm). It weighs a solid 256 pounds (~116.2 kg). This specimen shows no evidence of polishing, repair, or other type of enhancement.

  • Emeralds have been historically associated with royalty and have adorned the crowns and jewelry of numerous monarchs. Notable emerald artifacts include the Crown Jewels of many countries.

emeralds continue to captivate people around the world, making them a timeless and cherished gemstone.

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