Sapo Mine, Ferruginha, Conselheiro Pena, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil
The Sapo Mine is renown for its rich mineral cornucopia, especially its Tourmaline - it is an important producer of this important Brazilian gemstone. In February 1997, a most unusual situation was encountered at the Sapo Mine: a series of three gem pockets were breached in the mine, all very close to each other. All three pockets contained Tourmaline BUT they were very distinctly different from each other: one pocket contained the renowned Sapo "Blue Cap" Tourmalines, one contained fine blue Indicolite crystals, and one contained GIANT Tourmaline crystals. These enormous Tourmalines were referred to as "shaving brushes" because of their complex shape - but as soon as they appeared, they vanished! There was no photographic record - just the legend of these massive crystals - until now. Evidently at some point these Tourmalines were whisked away from Brazil and ended up in the Hoppel Collection - where they remained out of the public eye, sequestered in a private museum, until now. When the collection was unveiled at the 2013 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, mineral dealer and Brazilian expert Luiz Menezes confirmed the origin of these Tourmalines.
This is the largest Tourmaline from that pocket (the second largest crystal is also in the Hoppel Collection) - measuring an imposing 16 inches (40.6 cm) tall. This giant group is composed of a multitude of sub-parallel crystals with pink bases and cores, that have been over coated with transparent blue-green Tourmaline that grades into a light pastel blue-green at the very tips of the crystal, resulting in a "snow-on-the-roof" effect that adds heightened definition to the overall aesthetic. Accompanied by a custom acrylic base.
Overall measurements: 16 x 7 x 4 inches (40.6 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm). Offered at no reserve.
Reference: Menezes, Luiz. "The Sapo Mine." The Mineralogical Record. July-August 2009, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 273-292.
Provenance: Western Minerals [Hoppel Catalog # D1875]
[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]
Condition report available upon request.
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