Bluecap Tourmaline on Quartz
Cabinet, 15.0 x 14.0 x 12.0 cm
Tourmaline Queen Mine, Pala, San Diego County, California (1972 pocket)

This is one of only several dozen large bluecaps to come out of the infamous find by Bill Larson in 1972, which put the Tourmaline Queen back on the map and incidentally jumpstarted modern specimen mining as well. I confirmed the origin of the piece with him, to be sure it really was one of the famous few. If a knowledgeable collector had to name the 5 most famous finds in the history of collectible minerals in this century, this pocket from 1972 would be among them (along with the Jonas Mine Rubellites, and a few other incredible one-off hits). The chance to own a MATRIX specimen from this pocket (unrepaired by the way!), is one that only several dozen folks will ever get. The chance to own a CABINET-SIZED matrix piece from this pocket, of good quality, is one that perhaps less than a dozen collectors will ever get. Most major pieces went into musuems, or into the collections of prominent buyers at the time, and have not yet come to market again....or never will. This piece was one that I found in a small private investment collection assembled in the 1970s, unprepped since the day it was found and attached to a massive piece of quartz which preparator Sandor Fuss was able to trim off for me without losing the crystal in the process. The entire quartz attached to the tourmaline survived the trim intact! It was a miracle - if it had broken, I would have cried. But, here it is, unrepaired and pristine on the front and sides. It is actually even complete around back, although the quartz is contacted where an attached broken quartz crystal and the underlaying matrix back there was removed. That flat-looking left side is in fact a natural face, not a sawmark (and you can see small pink tourmalines there as well!). The piece in person sits up nicely somewhere between the angles shown in the top and lower-left photos but really all angles are pretty good, from the front or right side of view, depending on your own taste. The tourmaline itself measures 9 x 5 x 4 cm in size. Comes with custom lucite base for easy display.