Description

    BLUE CAP TOURMALINE
    Tourmaline Queen Mine, Pala District, San Diego County, California, USA
    Ask any knowledgeable mineral collector, or dealer, what the top five finds of the past century were and certain to be among them is the 1972 discovery of the "Blue Cap Pockets" in the Tourmaline Queen Mine. So impatient were some of the "helpers" to see what these gem treasures looked like, valuable beer was sacrificed in order to wash them free of mud on the spot. Besides the considerable size of some of the crystals recovered, they were, and are, immediately recognizable for possessing an almost unheard of combination of reddish-pink bodies and deep navy blue terminations - all in the same crystal. This combination is particularly beautiful when the specimen is back-lit. While there were a number of small, single crystals recovered, the number of large or multiple crystal specimens was very small. These few larger examples have been the "crown jewels" at the Smithsonian Institution and in a small number of other collections, both public and private. For 37 years, this treasure has graced the private collection of Signore Walter Lago of Italy. The Lago specimen is comprised of two major and one minor crystal, measuring respectively: 4 ½ x 2 inches; 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches; and 1 ½ x ½ inches. The crystals have a deep Fuchsia pink body color, capped with its namesake blue layer - approximately ¼ inch in thickness (which actually grades from colorless to Indigo blue on the terminal face). All of the larger specimens from this famous find tend to have minor nicking and many, including this one, have repairs (having fallen from the ceiling of the pocket sometime after formation). In spite of that, their rarity and spectacular coloration have made them among the most coveted and desirable of all mineral specimens. Overall measurements are 4 ½ x by 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inches and it has a custom labeled base.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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