Tourmaline, Albite (Var: Cleavelandite), Hambergite
Stak Nala, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.0 x 5.5 cm
This specimen is from a rare and very special find: a small pocket hit around 1992 and characterized by the thin, richly-colored blue cap on the prism termination. So far as I am aware, this was the ONLY such find at Stak Nala (which is certainly now more or less defunct for tourmalines of this habit). They remain one of the Holy Grails of tourmaline collectors and frankly, I do not think there are more than several dozens to be had. This one came to me after going through 2 collections, and was purchased at the time they came out as one of the more bright and colorful specimens. This is one of the very gemmiest and brightest of the lot, I guarantee, as most had rather dull luster, in person. True, the tourmaline is mostly embedded, but the albite actually serves to highlight and contrast the blue termination, and serves to hide what is usually a murky green tourmaline core in any case, making for better dramatic display all around. The tourmaline is deeply nestled in the overlaying leaves of white Cleavelandite, but the top 1 cm-plus of the termination erupts from the Cleavelandite and is both complete and visible ALL around. Also, the tourmaline is doubly-terminated as the bottom tip sticks out from the Cleavelandite at the base of the specimen! At the base, pointing downwards near the tourmalines second termination, there is a Cleavelandite-covered crystal of hambergite which, like the tourmaline, has a free termination but is otherwise embedded. Sort of a bonus, that! 7.5 x 6 x 5.5 cm