Elbaite Tourmaline (blue cap) with Albite
Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs, San Diego County, California, USA
Small Cabinet, 6.7 x 6.4 x 2.5 cm
Ex. Al Ordway

We all love blue-cap tourmalines and this is a very rare tourmaline occurrence from this San Diego County pegmatite! This small cabinet piece from the Cryo-Genie Pegmatite emphasizes a tri-color Elbaite Tourmaline juxtaposed to a rosette of Albite, variety Cleavelandite. The Elbaite has a dark pink lower portion that transitions quickly and somewhat unevenly into a 4mm medium green zone followed by an exceptionally thin blue cap that comprises the flat termination. This blue cap from this mine is what makes this piece unique as this occurrence is much overshadowed by the other more famous blue cap Tourmaline occurrences in San Diego County and the Sapo Mine in Brazil. The prism faces of the Elbaite are lustrous and pinacoid termination has a matte luster. Adjacent to the Elbaite is a glistening rosette of off-white Albite (var. Cleavelandite) blades in association. There are two stabilizations or perhaps repairs to the Albite. A significant specimen, it was mined by the Gochenour brothers around 2003. This comes from the collection of beloved collector and swapper Al Ordway, who we lost in 2007. It was sold to me by his collecting partner Jon Page, at Tucson 2008 on behalf of the family. It is a rare matrix Cryo-Genie piece! It has a very broad blue cap to it which is most unusual, attractive, and impressive when displayed. I have not seen another Cryo tourmaline like this, in fact. This small mine is probably not going to produce more, in all likelihood, as it did during a short run in the early 2000s.

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