Tourmaline With Albite
Paprok, Nuristan, Afghanistan
Large Cabinet, 19.2 x 5.8 x 4.5 cm
Ex. Dr. Ed David
Afghanistan isn't producing like it used to, the reasons being fairly obvious, I think. It is harder to get material out, but also it is harder to access deeper deposits given the lack of infrastructure and risk of setting up longterm mining here. Pristine, large tourmalines have always been rare, though. This is a really nice piece, complete all around with absolutely no damage, and with minor matrix attached as an accent. You can ask for little more in a tourmaline of this style! This style is extremely colorful, though they simply are not gemmy - but i'll say that in this size range this piece is more translucent (at edges) than most. The termination is spectacular and unusual, even for this locality, as it is glassy and features a unique and rare purplish coloration atop. This specimen was purchased in the early 1990s from dealer Herb Obodda, who was bringing out the best at the time. He sold it to his nearby neighbor and friend, longtime collector Ed David (a prominent scientist who was, among other things, President Nixon's White House Science advisor and helped usher along the Apollo moon landing program). Ed built a diverse large collection specializing in display-quality specimens of all sizes, particularly rich with examples of the gem pegmatites of Pakistan and Afghanistan because of his proximity to Obodda in the days they started to come out. I purchased this piece with Ed's 1000-piece collection in 2005, and set the specimen back in storage for the future. It has never been shown (or even, fully cleaned) til now.