Tourmaline on Albite With Quartz
Large Cabinet, 21.0 x 16.5 x 15.0 cm
Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan, Afghanistan
Every now and then, you see a large matrix piece which just screams "fake" at you. It just seems too contrived to be real. That is what I thought of this specimen, when I first saw it in a dealer advertisement over 5 years ago. When I saw it in person though, I immediately realized that it actually is the real thing, with three isolated and pristine tourmaline crystals shooting out in 3 different directions. Remarkably, there are no repairs! The piece has been through my preferred preparation lab to confirm that fact. The fact that a single matrix piece can have two totally different habits of tourmaline has always impressed me about how these things form. It is rare, but it happens. Still, usually that exceptional case refers to two tourmalines of the same color, but perhaps different terminations on the same matrix. Here, we have both of the really stereotypical habits of a Paprok tourmaline, totally different in color and symmetries, perched on the same piece. The classic multicolored red-green crystal is 5 inches tall. Again, it is NOT repaired, despite its perch and freestanding nature. The hot pink crystal to the left is fully 2 inches long, and shows a totally different termination. We call this style the "bubblegum pinks" and it is also classic for the locality. I simply am NOT aware of another specimen which combines both of these particular styles of tourmaline, let alone with such pizzazz. This is a major matrix tourmaline, by any standard. Price on Request. Joe Budd photos.