MGR12 Tourmaline, Tourmaline var. Liddicoatite
Andrembesoa Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
8.4x 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 matrix.  At 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.

 This 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 stones.

As a matter of fact, how often do you see tourmaline CRYSTALS of this color from anywhere? And on matrix? 

The only other locality/country that comes to mind is Nigeria, and again, those are always gem rough or cut as well.


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