Bluecap Tourmaline with Morganite (1972 pocket)
Tourmaline Queen Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 5.7 x 3.6 cm
Ex. Josephine Scripps

A colorful and spectacular Blue Cap Tourmaline with great associations from the renowned Tourmaline Queen Mine in San Diego County, from the early 1970s bluecap pocket! This dramatic piece consists of an absolutely stunning Elbaite Tourmaline that displays a variety of colors and textures and is also host to three other minerals. The core of the Tourmaline is a saturated and uniform, translucent, pastel pink that serves as the cornerstone for the remarkably colored outer zones. The outer prism faces of this spectacular piece are veiled in a glassy, transparent, blue veneer of Elbaite that reveals the pink interior and it also exhibits pronounced striations and a few very slender crystals in parallel growth that also have tiny blue caps! There are also small clusters of cute, 2 to 5 mm, pale blue Indicolite crystals that decorate the main crystal and some of the Albite for added texture and aesthetics. The blue cap on this piece is of course spectacular with the top color saturation and luster: near the termination there is about a 5 mm translucent to gemmy zone that shows a mix of the pale blue Indicolite as well as a pink component extending up from the core; and this transitions into a gemmy, 3 mm pale blue zone that culminates in the lustrous, rich, inky blue, cap that makes these pieces so unique. If this isn't enough, the left side of the crystal is juxtaposed to a large, white Albite crystal and the upper right corner has a knot containing granular white Albite, a 1.5 cm knob of purple Lepidolite...and then for the ultimate combination bonus we also have a mostly complete, 2.6 cm, pink Morganite crystal! Associations like this with the blue caps from this find are not common, especially in this size class. The provenance of this piece is quite interesting too! This was from Josie Scripps collection and it was self-collected by her out of the Blue Cap Pocket in December of 1972, before they went to market. Josie was literally the godmother of San Diego mineral collecting and of the community there in the post-war era, and mentored numerous young collectors such as Bill Larson and Cal Graeber at the time. She was a local legend aside from her more public role as a wealthy heiress to the Scripps family newspaper, horse and property fortunes, as much involved in collecting mineral in the field as in archiving and helping the San Diego Museum of Natural History. It remained with her for many years, eventually going into two other private local San Diego collections after her passing. This amazing piece comes with a custom engraved acrylic base, for perfect display. Specimens of this caliber seldom turn up on the market and this one is an honor to show. I first saw it in the 1990s when I myself moved to San Diego for school, and it was in a collection at the time.