Tourmaline on Feldspar
Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande, San Diego County, California, USA
Cabinet, 9.5 x 7.1 x 4.8 cm
Ex. Dr. Peter Bancroft
With the mine now closed, fine elbaite crystals, whether or not on matrix, are going to get scarce and even more expensive than they are today. Already, I haven't seen many good matrix specimens on the market and this one remarkably has NO repairs at all! Nearly all large Himalaya tourmies do have some repairs, as the mine is quite tectonically disrupted. This 9 cm long, elbaite var. rubellite crystal is, doubly terminated, lustrous, translucent and exhibits that wonderful trait of being bent and rehealed as it grew in the pocket, which creates an elegant look that is nearly unique to the Himalaya. It also is perched on a buff colored, feldspar crystal which makes for a great contrasting accent. Rarer still, it appears to be pristine. This is just a miracle piece from the mine, and I consider it among the best pieces here. Himalaya tourmalines, to me, having lived in San Diego and seen many old collections, are a treasure - people just don't know how few really top specimens were found, even over 100 years of mining.