Purple-Capped Tourmaline, Quartz, Albite
Little Joe II tunnel, Stewart Mine, San Diego County, California, USA
Cabinet, 11.5 x 9.1 x 8.4 cm
Ex. Chuck Houser
This is a County specimen so outstanding, so atypical, that one at first thinks it must be Afghani! It is a PURPLE CAPPED, gemmy, matrix tourmaline from the famous old Stewart Mine: Mined 6/11/88 from a pocket in the roof of the Little Joe II tunnel of the Stewart Mine. The specimen was found on the floor of the tunnel minus the top of the main quartz crystal. Week later, the miners searched the pile of rubble building up on the tunnel floor under the pocket and located the top of the quartz crystal, now repaired (fairly cleanly) back on the specimen. The tourmaline itself is NOT repaired, only the quartz termination flanking it. The tourmaline is pristine on the display face, though contacted and missing a bit on the rear-right side. However, this does not really detract visually from the specimen, although otherwise it would have been worth more I admit. The back isn't bad, other than this slight discontinuity which again, can be moved away form the display face anyhow. This is a superb display specimen and a unique County piece, with great pedigree. I have not seen another example of the purple caps from Stewart, rare as they are, on matrix and so large. One of my hands-down favorites of the collection! Chuck has added this comment to the draft: This specimen was collected prior to Blue's involvement. Lynn Agabashian was running the shop at the time and Jose was doing the mining. Also, you lowered the price to $10, 500, I'd keep it at $12, 000 like you had it in the appraisal, I really think it is worth it! By the way, this was the first "serious" SD Co specimen I purchased, directly from Lynn and Gems of Pala, in 1988. Man that was a lot of money!