Tourmaline and Lepidolite on Albite

Pederneira Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cabinet, 10.5 x 9.1 x 5.9 cm
Start Time: 01/07/2010 6:30:00 pm (CST)
End Time: 01/19/2010 7:13:43 pm (CST)
Auction Closed

Item Description

This specimen is a beautiful arrangement of truly gem-blue indicolite tourmaline nestled in a glistening matrix of purple, sparkling lepidolite. It is expertly trimmed and I find it miraculous that it came out with only one repair (middle of the large crystal), from a mine where so many matrix pieces of this size have a number of repairs to them. The Pederneira, in its recent heyday of the early 2000's, briefly gave the market a flood of good tourmaline matrix specimens (most repaired, but acceptable in context), and we all became spoiled. Even with the quantity produced, each pocket was different and when you really get down to thinking about it, FEW of the finds were of blue tourmaline - and fewer yet on matrix. Matrix indicolites are in fact quite rare from any locale. This piece features 3 major and several minor crystals. The large central crystal is 8.6 x 1.3 x 1.3 cm, with a clean repair at midpoint. It is perfectly terminated and very gemmy and transparent. It has a totally freestanding termination. The forward-facing crystal, to its right, is 3 x 1.5 cm 1.2 cm and is doubly-terminated (the front termination is oddly rippled, but in an interesting manner; the back termination is matte and dull). The slender, totally gemmy crystal pointing to the left is actually 6 cm long, thought most of that length is hidden on the backside of the specimen and not visible from the front. This is a superb matrix specimen that could be at home in any collection, with good aesthetics combined with unusually fine condition. It was valued at 4800 euros at Munich: my own cost when I obtained it in a liquidation/trade deal from a dealer who was a partner in the mining ventures here. I do believe that this price, about $7500 USD, was quite fair and reasonable, and that it is really worth closer to $10,000

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