Befisiotra Mine, Tsitondroina, Ikalamavony, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar
Cabinet, 10.5 x 2.7 x 2.2 cm

This Malagasy Liddicoatite commands respect - It is over four inches long and one inch across with super lustrous faces AND it's doubly-terminated! Overall it has a luscious red-plum color but close inspection and backlighting reveal its true color complexity. The crystal has a greenish brown interior for much of its length and girth with a lovely reddish purple exterior. The top portion of the crystal, within about one inch of the termination, is completely GEM! The remainder of the crystal is gemmy to translucent with only variable amounts of internal crazing obscuring its gemminess; it's not cloudy at all. The lower termination has a white patch of what looks like tiny Quartz crystals for accent, wrapping around the bottom (and it is probably doubly-terminated beneath the coating). Mass is 149g. Mineral Collection Professionals (MCP) label, from the mining projects of Dr. Federico Pezzotta in that country. It is a unique, fine, very unusual specimen of tourmaline from this country where, for whatever reason, nearly all tourmalines are the Liddicoatite variety and not the Elbaite varietals.

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