MGR01 Tourmaline, Quartz, Tourmaline var. Liddicoatite
Tsarafara, Sahatany Pegmatite Field, Ibity Area, Vakinankaratra (Betafo) Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
4.5x 3.7x 3.4 cm
As I mentioned in the introduction, good matrix specimens of tourmaline are extremely rare, on account of the decomposed nature of the pegmatite, the mining methods, and the emphasis on obtaining gem rough. When a matrix specimen does occur, the matrix will almost always consist of quartz crystals.
Over two separate trips to Madagascar, this is the best matrix tourmaline I have been able to get my hands on. It consists of a purplish-red liddicoatite with a black and yellow core, the yellow part of the core lending some of its color to the hue of the termination. This yellow is best visibly under strong lighting (see the image where I am holding it)
As is typical of many Malagasy liddicoatites, this specimen has a very steeply pointed termination. What truly sets this piece apart however, is its association with the quartz crystals that are perched on its side.
I realize I am repeating myself here, but to find a matrix specimen is relatively rare. To find a matrix specimen where the tourmaline is not damaged is even rarer, but to find a piece where the interplay between the matrix and the tourmaline is actually aesthitic is VERY difficult… like I said, despite having purchased many tourmalines in Madagascar, this is the best piece I have gotten in two trips there