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    Paprok Mine, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan
    The Tourmalines of Afghanistan are so extraordinary that even with the high level of danger inherent in their mining and extraction, they are still considered worth such risks. Of the total production, 90% or more of the material recovered is not suitable for specimens and is sold by the gram for production of carvings or cabochons. Of the rest, many crystals are broken but still suitable for faceting, while others are of high quality, but small, and are kept as specimens. The very smallest percentage are those rare items that are: large, undamaged and beautiful enough to make collectors think avaricious thoughts. This is the kind of piece that inspires those thoughts.

    It incorporates three giant Tourmaline prisms the diameter of beer-cans, emerging next to three smoky Quartz crystals of lightly frosted luster and equivalently stout proportions, with liberal dousings of lilac Lepidolite and a couple of 'snowballs' of bladed, white Albite thrown in for good measure. The bases of the stout Tourmaline crystals start out dark green, as can be seen by viewing the underside of the piece. The color very quickly shifts to pink, with peach highlights, a tint that persists throughout most of the crystals length. The last few millimeters shift dramatically from pink to a bright transparent, 'apple green' that is almost fluorescent. One of the truly unusual aspects of this group is that all of the minor crystals peppering the sides of the Tourmalines are complete: not the normal, somewhat abused, state of affairs typical of things brought down from the mountains on someone's or something's back. Luster varies considerably from the brilliantly glassy sheen of the Tourmaline to the aforementioned 'frosted' texture of the smoky Quartz, with the Lepidolite and Albite somewhere in between. There are two repairs; both invisible, and some tiny 'nicks' to the Quartz, but overall, the group is in a remarkably fine state of preservation. This exceedingly fine specimen measures 7½ x 7 x 6 inches (19 x 17.8 x 15.2 cm) with Tourmaline crystals up to 5 inches in length and 3 inches in diameter (12.7 x 7.6 cm). There is a custom labeled acrylic base.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,739

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