Locality: Santa Rosa mine, Itambacuri, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Dimensions: 9.2 x 4.5 x 4 cm. (214 grams)
An excellent large group of very gemmy, lustrous pink to blue-green “watermelon” tourmaline crystals from the famous Santa Rosa mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. From old finds in the mid-1960s, this classic tourmaline features a doubly-terminated 6.5 cm crystal which is “spearing” a larger 9.2 x 4.5 x 4 cm tourmaline. The color, luster and transparency are excellent and the smaller crystals are truly GEM, an aspect many of the best older Santa Rosa mine tourmalines exhibit. The crystal is terminated and complete on the left side as seen, but the other end of the main crystal is unterminated, as seen. The price reflects this, and honestly I think for the value if this were made into polished slices alone, and the size and overall condition of the piece, this is good value for what it is.
This specimen was purchased in Brazil in 1968 by early 20th century movie star and gem/mineral dealer Sasha Siemel, and was in his personal collection. Siemel fled Lithuania in the WWI era and ended up living with indigenous people in the Amazon, where he hunted leopards and jaguars with a wooden spear (no joke!). He later guided hunters and mineral collectors through Brazil, and this crystal was acquired by him on his last trip through Minas Gerais in 1968. Fine large tourmaline crystal groups like this from the Santa Rosa mine are seldom seen on the market today. Weight is 214 grams. Annette Slade photo.