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Help in identifying where this elbaite came from
  
  Index -> FOR BEGINNERS: What is it? Where is it from?
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Rand1190




Joined: 11 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 11:59    Post subject: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

Hello,

I recently purchased this elbaite tourmaline with a reference label which said its a San Diego Queen Mine specimen. However, I'm not sure if this is correct. The cap is very thin and very dark. When I shine light directly through it, it does appear as a navy blue.

Thanks for your assistance.



IMG_1354.jpg
 Mineral: Elbaite
 Locality:
USA
 Dimensions: 1.5cm x 3cm x 2cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  980 Time(s)

IMG_1354.jpg



IMG_1355 2.jpg
 Mineral: Elbaite
 Locality:
USA
 Dimensions: 1.5cm x 3cm x 2cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  979 Time(s)

IMG_1355 2.jpg



IMG_1356.jpg
 Mineral: Elbaite
 Dimensions: 1.5cm x 3cm x 2cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  979 Time(s)

IMG_1356.jpg


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John Betts




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 12:30    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

Looks to me like it is from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego County, California.

I've had many like it and the etched texture on the termination face is typical of the Himalaya Mine.

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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 12:38    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

I've rarely seen blue caps from the Himalaya Mine. One of the mines in the Pala district is more likely. Very well could be the Tourmaline Queen mine.
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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 13:28    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

I see nothing that says it isn't from the Queen.
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Chris Wentzell




Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 14:28    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

I remember this crystal being posted in a group on facebook some time back asking if it was a Queen and I participated in the conversation about it. I remember stating it was possible that it came from the queen further back from the bluecap pockets (the caps did turn greyish further down dip) and the original poster just ran with it being from the Queen. If I recall he did say something about having or waiting for locality info but I never saw any documentation. I can no longer find the thread so maybe it was removed by the original poster or a moderator on fb. It does *look* like Queen, but the termination reminds me more of the Himalaya at Mesa Grande. I have seen a number of light to medium pink crystals with that frosted microcrystalline blue tourmaline on the termination from the Himalaya, but they normally have a slight green layer underneath. Hard to say. The very thin cap though also reminds me of those found at the Fletcher just adjoining the King Mine on the other side of the hill, but I did not see any with the "rough" look on the top like this one... Many of the ones from the Fletcher/King were more of a thin greyish-blue cap rather than the sapphire-blue for which most of the better Queen pieces are known. However, there have been a small number of crystals out of Afghanistan with these characteristics recently as well. If I don't know the history, i say locality unknown but *possibly* , *resembles* or *similar to* which I advised the person who had this. If you know Scott Ritchie of SDMC, I would ask him, I value his opinion highly. The queen pieces with blue caps had more of a pink/fushia body color , maybe an outdoor photo with the light/sun behind you might help too.

Best regards, Chris
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2018 04:21    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

I'm with Jesse and Bob: To me this looks like a typical crystal from Tourmaline Queen Mine (I guess this is also what the "San Diego Queen Mine" information on the label refers to), or at least I don't know why the information should be wrong. The termination might be a bit strange, but not all crystals from the same mine have the same termination, there are always some variations. There seems to me no doubt that the "Queen" on the label could be right.

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Tobi
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Chris Wentzell




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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2018 13:14    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

I do agree with Bob, Jesse and Tobi.... and John's comment. In fact, I just re-read my post above here, and hope I did not come off the wrong way... (sorry if It did), I was just trying to relate what I knew about the piece and the person who had it before (it seemed like the person who had it before Rand1190 was searching for locality info and did not have it himself), and I wanted to note similar material (and refer to someone who has specialized in San Diego pegmatites with much involvement mining there, incl the Queen and King). Everyone who has posted here has a great deal of knowledge and I value everyone's info and comments. If I had it, I would label *likely* or *possibly* Queen, but without knowing for sure, i wouldn't go further than that without some further reliable info from the persons whose hands it passed through or better yet, the person who dug it. Really unless the person who dug it says "its from here" you never really know if there are other similarities/possibilities to other localities. It does look like the Tourmaline Queen Mine, but there are always little things here and there that can make a person go, hmmmm.... And certainly I agree with Tobi about the fact that not all crystals from the same mine have the same termination. Having dug in all of the mines at Pala decades ago, I can attest to that fact, as crystals within the same pocket can have differences from one end to the other, and even right next to each other. What really prompted my initial response to this post was the fact the person who had it before the current owner seemed unsure that it was queen and was seeking validation. So, in a nutshell without all my long-windedness, yes, likely Queen.....
best regards, chris
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Rand1190




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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2018 13:27    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

Thanks everyone for your assistance. This is the label I received with the purchase.


IMG_0612.jpg
 Mineral: Elbaite
 Locality:
USA
 Dimensions: 1.5cm x 3cm x 2cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  651 Time(s)

IMG_0612.jpg


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Chris Wentzell




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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2018 13:42    Post subject: Re: Help in identifying where this elbaite came from  

The McGuiness label does certainly help and answers any questions I would have had.... I would positively agree now from the Queen Mine without any doubt. Congrats on a Queen Mine piece!
best regards, Chris
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