Miniature, 5.1 x 4.1 x 3.5 cm
Cruzeiro Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This is a geometrically complex, castle-like tourmaline whose shape is the product of intricate natural etching or dissolution effects acting upon the original tourmaline crystal. While common in spodumenes and kunzites, this effect is much less often seen in tourmalines. The piece is 3-dimensional and complete all around, except for some contact on the lower periphery of the backside. It is the most massive of the three good specimens I saw at the Munich 2009 show, and looks good from either front or back as you can see. The shape and complexity is really mesmerizing, and quite different than other tourmalines you commonly see except for a certain resemblance in style to a few pockets from the Barra da Salinas Mine (famous for its etched scepters). Nevertheless, THE COLOR here is what takes this pocket to another level of uniqueness. They are shockingly, rivetingly, intense candy-red in color. These are more colorful even than the Jonas mine rubellites, which most of us consider to be the finest red rubellites known for purity of color. The first two photos here are not in any way overdone or color-enhanced; and they show the piece with minimal, not overdone, backlighting. When backlit strongly, they simply look fake, and glow an unearthly, neon red-maroon hue (3rd photo, again not enhanced). ONLY 4 SPECIMENS WERE AVAILABLE AT THE MUNICH SHOW, FROM WHAT IS REPUTED TO BE THIS very SMALL POCKET FOUND In OCTOBER OF 2009.

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