Tourmaline with Albite and Laumontite (illustrated)
Sosedka Pegmatite, Malkhan Field, Krasnyi Chikoy, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia
Cabinet, 10.8 x 3.0 x 2.9 cm

A stately and commanding Tourmaline crystal adorned with contrasting bluish Albite and Laumontite from the Malkhan Pegmatite Field, and one of the special crystals to be noted and recovered in early efforts at the Sosedka pegmatite here (2012). This gorgeous deep cranberry colored Tourmaline is over four inches in length and more than an inch across and is translucent with local gemmy areas, especially at the termination. Its prism faces are distinctly striated and the crystal is doubly terminated on one end by a complex and lustrous modified pyramid and the opposite end by an etched pinacoid. The crystal is graced on one side by pale blue, platy Albite crystals to 1 cm in length as individual crystals and open rosettes. For added interest, Laumontite is also associated with the Albite on this side as a late-stage crystallization product...and yes, Zeolites are found in pegmatites! The Laumontite occurs as densely aggregated, ivory colored bladed crystals to a few millimeters. European royalty who collected minerals referred to this older, classic material from Malkhan as "siberite". This is an extraordinary example of Elbaite with great associations! The piece was illustrated in the original article on these optimistic efforts on page 312, figure 7 in the 2013 Rocks and Minerals vol. 88, no. 4 issue, shown dirty and as a newly mined piece from finds in the fall of 2012. It comes with a custom engraved acrylic base. Sadly, this pegmatite is now completely mined out and stripped. This is a special piece for the quality, elegance, and in that it is unrepaired and without restoration or damages. It has been in a secret private collection, hidden since those initial finds until the recent book on the project was published (Mineralogical Record, 2019). Amidst so many "singles" of this material that came out, this one is rather special, and the documentation from the early find is an extra bonus.

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