Tourmaline var. Liddicoatite
Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov.,
8.4x 7.2 cm
A bright pink, gemmy rubellite
crystal on matrix. There is damage to the
surrounding crystals, but the appeal of a specimen like this, is that
it is one of the very rare occasions when material that is exclusively
used for gem rough gets preserved in specimen form.
To begin with (and I
suppose, as evidenced by the damage) these crystals rarely stay on
this site, the pegmatite is not decomposed as is the case in the mines
around Ibity, however due to primitive mining methods and very tough
rock (which requires more force from rudimentary hand tools) virtually
all rubellite tourmalines of this color wind up as matrix free shards,
which then get sent to the cutters.
is one of the rare times when that has not been the case, and in my
opinion, the damage is eclipsed by the fact that (again) this is a
matrix example of something that is only ever seen as gem rough or cut
a matter of fact, how often do you see tourmaline CRYSTALS of this
color from anywhere? And on matrix?
only other locality/country that comes to mind is Nigeria, and again,
those are always gem rough or cut as well.