MIXED MINERALS Tourmaline var. With Quartz Elbaite & Lepidolite on Cleavelandite.


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Modern Art in minerals, I call this one...and family and friends who are not into minerals immediately "get it" when they see this in my case (i had it at home for a few years). This fantastic display piece is pristine all around, though multiply repaired and restored at junctions (as all from this pocket of any size were).

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The crystals exhibit an amazing juxtaposition of prismatic and flat basal terminations in a series: pointy-flat-pointy-flat-pointy right across the piece. Never seen the like, with so many examples of two different terminations of tourmaline upon the same matrix.

Stunning white Cleavelandite is host, and it is sprinkled with metallic purple lepidolite as well so that color abounds and everything is nice and sparkly. The gorgeous multicolored tourmalines (to 4.3 inches or 11 cm in height) stick up and out; while gemmy, clear, perfect quartz points grow amongst the tourmaline on the right side and stick out laterally towards the viewer in front (they are so gemmy they are difficult to photograph in contcxt here - better in person!).

The tourmalines have a very 3-dimensional geometry, poking out every which way. When this pocket first came to light during re-mining projects to expand specimen production at the Pederneira Mine in 2001, it all went up to Denver to be prepped and repaired (all large specimens had come apart, and had to be put back together carefully using new techniques developed partly for the purpose).

Author: Rob Lavinsky.

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