Topaz D.50715 Click to enlarge image
Topaz. Alabaschka Murzinka, Urals, Russia. 7.5 x 7 x 4.2 cm. Registered 1996. D.50715. Albert Chapman Collection. Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

This is a ‘Rembrandt of the mineral world’ – one of the world’s finest mineral specimens. Its pale blue, transparent topaz (aluminium fluorine silicate) crystals on smoky quartz and albite is one of the finest ever produced from its Russian locality in the late 1880s.

Specimen details

  • Origin

    Alabaschka, Murzinka, Urals, Russia

  • Size

    7.5 x 7 x 4.2 cm

  • Date

    Registered 1996

  • Collection number


  • Collection

Topaz D.50715
Topaz. Alabaschka Murzinka, Urals, Russia. 7.5 x 7 x 4.2 cm. Registered 1996. D.50715 Albert Chapman Collection. Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

It was originally in a Russian museum but was later acquired by the American millionaire J Pierpont Morgan as part of his second gem collection and donated to the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in 1901.

For 66 years it was displayed in New York but the well-known American collector Peter Bancroft persuaded a curator to part with it in 1967. It was later sold to David Wilbur, then to mineral collector and dealer, Ed Swoboda. Albert Chapman was determined to acquire this specimen and had kept track of its movements. In March 1984 he finally achieved his goal, purchasing it from Ed Swoboda.

Discover the Minerals Gallery

Be dazzled by the finest examples from this incredible Australian Museum collection and immerse yourself in the world-leading mineralogy research of the Australian Museum Research Institute.

Now open.

Find out more