Tourmaline (Indicolite) with Lepidolite
Queen Mountain, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA
Cabinet, 12.2 x 5.6 x 5.0 cm
Ex. William (Bill) Larson

At 732 grams, this has to be one of the older surviving large indicolites (variety of blue tourmaline) from San Diego. It is simply HUGE and impactful; and secondly has a rich gemmy cap visible with good backlighting. Although we cannot say the specific mine entry by today's standards, it came out of the famous Tourmaline Queen deposit: it probably came out of the old workings before the Stewart Mine was the Stewart, but it could also be a really old Queen Mine "proper" piece - they are on the same mountain and the same deposit in any case. The crystal is massive, and it is honestly hard to believe it is really from San Diego County. However, it has good history (University of Arizona, old donation before Brazilian material was common); and it has an association with the absolutely typical San Diego style lepidolite crystals sitting in a nest of cleavelandite matrix that is itself nestled into one of the terminations (top termination, as I would show it). For that matter, the crystal is doubly terminated, as well - crudely on bottom, but nevertheless a termination. This is a rare old survivor, certainly from the very early 1900s, and so I can accept repair and restoration in this case; and it does have one repair in the middle. The repair is old, probably predating the Museum accession. It should go to a lab and be rehabilitated with a new repair and some cleaning, in all honesty. But like the previous owner, I kind of liked an antique look on this, showing how things came out back in the day. Given that it IS 100 years old or more, it is fitting to look a little old and not as sparkly as we can make it today. From the important and long held personal San Diego County Collection of William "Bill" Larson, longtime owner of the Himalaya Mine, discoverer of the famous Queen Mine BlueCap pocket, and numerous other San Diego mining projects over the last 60 years and more.