Tourmaline on Spodumene
Dara-i-Pech, Kunar Province, Nuristan, Afghanistan
Small Cabinet, 9.7 x 3.7 x 3.0 cm
Ex. Dave Wilber

Tourmaline ON spodumene is a rather rare association, and this attractive combination piece is of high quality for aesthetics aside from this rarity. The crystals are gemmy, glassy, and a nice pastel pink color. They reach 2.5 cm and are perched on a pale pink kunzite crystal. It also has a fantastic provenance, as one of the earliest fine specimens to come to the West out of Afghanistan - and to my eye is unique to this day! The piece was the best thing bought on location in the Peshawar market on Dave Wilber's first trip to Pakistan with his friend Herb Obodda, back before there was even a mineral market there (in the late 1970s). Dave retained it for a long time, eventually selling the piece to John Barlow (and it is illustrated in his huge coffee table book amongst much larger and more colorful and more valuable pieces, worthy because of its unique style and combination). It then sold to Keith Proctor when the Barlow collection was broken up in the late 1990s, and on to collectors Peter Via and then Drs. Raul and Helen Madrid since that time. Interestingly, all this history would have been lost completely if I had not, on impulse, showed the piece to Dave Wilber myself after I acquired the Madrid collection, because it was in the Barlow book and I thought he might know some history on it (Dave is 80-ish, but has a photographic memory! see: http://minrec.org/labels.asp?colid=643). Most of the minerals from Dave's early collections are literally now in museums, and few have ever come out or escaped to the market. He immediately insisted on writing the history on one of my cards, to go with the piece. A superb "rarity" of two common minerals, in combination. Joe Budd photos.