Tourmaline With Lepidolite And Quartz
Himalaya Mine, San Diego County, California, USA
Cabinet, 14.0 x 12.0 x 6.0 cm (5 inches tall)
Ex. Dr. Eugene Meieran; William (Bill) Larson
I think one can safely state that this is a MAJOR Himalaya Mine cluster, and aesthetic as well. Few large Himalaya pieces of this magnitude have been recovered, compared to all the mining down there over 100 years from 1900 to 2000, as the pegmatite is enormously disrupted. Today, mining here is possible through a small back entrance but the mine is for all intents and purposes closed for serious work, and all tunnels have been scavenged or collected using ground-penetrating radar before it was given up on. Great Himalaya specimens carry a premium compared to Brazilian or Afghan tourmalines of similar size and style, because they are an American classic, and significant for what has been found here in the US. This incredible large Himalaya Mine cluster was safely kept in the mine-owner's personal collection for many years until Gene traded it from him, in the mid-90s. Gene then owned it for about a decade until trading it to me, through Wayne Thompson, recently. Pieces this good stay in small circles, usually! It is a complete cluster all around, 3-dimensional and terminated on every crystal. It has two fairly clean repairs to the two larger crystals, near their base in any case where not even the crack is easily seen (the repairs were done by Bill Larson after mining it, and anyways are considered acceptable in a Himalaya cluster of such size). The remaining crystals juxtapose two termination styles and the mind boggles to think how this happened. On one face (lower-left photo) the crystals pointing out that way are terminated with normal basal terminations just like the two big 4-inchers. The smaller crystals with terminations facing to the right-front in what I prefer as the front view (top, with the quartz showing), show unusual slanted terminations that are representative of natural contacting in the pocket as they grew against another mineral. They are not really terminated with a diagonal face, it just looks that way at first glance. Really, each face is a series of microfaces, stepped back in intricate growth - but only on the crystals of the right side of the piece, facing forward. The adjacent crystals, pointing backwards in a front-back-front-back pattern, are as I said normally terminated. The overall effect, as you can see, is very impressive. Comes with custom engraved lucite base, for easy display.