Tourmaline Var. Rubellite on Orthoclase With Quartz
Monte Capanne, Elba Island, Italy (type locality)
Small Cabinet, 7.1 x 4.5 x 3.2 cm
Ex. Smithsonian Institution; Clarence Bement; Irv Brown; John Sinkankas; Norman Spang; Charles Spang
This is an important piece because it has closely-spaced rubellites, of gem quality, ON MATRIX, from the type locality for rubellite tourmaline! And, the history goes way back here. It was formerly n the collection of father and/or son Charles and Norman Spang, and retains their number on the bottom. The mineral spangolite was named in Norman Spang's honor. Many of the Spang specimens were purchased by the American Museum of Natural History (for $8, 000), and others that were purchased by Bement were ultimately purchased from him by J. Pierpont Morgan and donated to the American Museum in 1900. The piece also retains on the bottom the Bement arrow showing how to display it in the AMNH showcases, drawn on the (sawed) bottom by then-curator Gratacap in black ink. Lastly, Sinkankas traded this piece out in 1960 from the AMNH and it now has HIS label on the bottom as well, all corresponding to the original information. Irv Brown traded this from John in the mid 1990s. To get a good history back to the mid-1800s on one of these is hard to do. A showy matrix specimen is also hard to get. One with gemmy crystals, still harder. Given all of this, I am willing to put up with the fact that it does have 3 repairs, one to each crystal at the matrix just above their attachment points (so they don't show until a close look). But, it displays wonderfully, much better than most old Elba pieces! Click on the link above to see more information about these collections, courtesy of the Minerlogical Record Archives. I think I PAID $4000 for this and then decided it was too much, in retrospectf, if memory serves. ugh.