Tourmaline Var. Liddicoatite
Toilet well of Pezzotta home, Tsarafara pegmatite, Sahatany valley, Ibity, Antsirabe, Madagascar
Miniature, 4.2 x 2.2 x 1.7 cm
Ex. Dr. Federico Pezzotta
A fine, symmetric tourmaline of 30 grams, complete all around....These were found in the wet rainy season of 2010, in a curious manner. Dr. Federico Pezzotta of the Milan Museum spends much time at the nearby demantoid garnet locality as a consultant, teaching mining technique and also buying the specimens from the locals whom he has helped to teach how to mine. He had a small home built uphill and in-tide from the flooded mangrove swamps of the demantoid locality. While digging a deep hole for the outside toilet, the workers ran into a pegmatite vein. It was deeply altered and kaolinized, meaning most of the original pegmatite pocket matrix had transformed to a soft mushy clay between the surrounding rocks. Almost immediately, they hit one collapsed pocket, which produced the crystals you see here. Hence the name, "Toilet Pocket." After the pegmatite vein was mined out, the toilet was installed as originally planned. Dr. Pezzotta's February 6, 2011 talk on exploring for minerals in Madagascar features a brief mention of this surprising find, and can be found on DVD here:; categoryId=2