Tourmaline, Albite (Var: Cleavelandite)
Cruzeiro mine, Sao Jose da Safira, Doce valley, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil
Toenail, 3.0 x 3.0 x 3.0 cm
Talk about interesting mineralogy and the odd way things form in the ground! This specimen represents some of the best quirks found in the mineral kingdom. Three elbaite crystals grew separately in a pegmatite pocket. At a later time, a fine grained cleavelandite was deposited over and between the elbaite crystals, essentially hiding their terminations. Much later, some intrepid soul decided to split the cleavelandite ball; and lo and behold, exposed a lustrous, gemmy, rich pink, rubellite crystal, which measures about 3 x 3 x 3 cm in size. From underneath you can see there are two smaller rubellites adjacent, still enclosed. I was tempted to excavate them and thus have a rare matrix Cruzeiro cluster, but preserving this unique pop-on cast was too gimmicky a trick to ruin by trimming the tourmalines out. Also exposed was a negative cast of the elbaite in the cleavelandite. Whoever acquires this wonderful oddity of nature has, if they choose it, the opportunity to expose the other elbaite terminations. It is REALLY interesting and actually also a darned good tourmaline in and of its own. 8 x 6.3 x 4.7, 7.3 x 5.5 x 2.4 cm