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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Elbaite

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Photo by Schmitt Jewellers. Click to zoom.
SpecimenCatalog NumberLocalityWeight
ElbaiteNMNH G10636-00Mozambique60.73 ct
ElbaiteNMNH G10637-00Mozambique75.24 ct
ElbaiteNMNH G10638-00Mozambique90.03 ct

Gift of Somewhere in the Rainbow in 2009.

The tourmaline family consists of more than 14 distinct minerals, but only one, elbaite, accounts for nearly all of the tourmaline gemstones. Although best known in shades of green and red, elbaite also can be blue, purple, yellow or colorless. Moreover, single crystals of elbaite can show several colors, either along their lengths or from the inside out, making it possible to cut unique multicolored gems. This color zoning results from different impurity atoms that were incorporated into the growing crystal. This amazing suite of three faceted gems is a rare example of extremely fine, well-matched, multi-colored tourmalines. The gems weigh 60.73ct, 75.24ct and 90.03ct. Faceted to highlight the vivid deep green, yellow, and orangey-red colors, the size, quality, and beauty of these gemstones makes them exceptional. The elongated octagonal step cut gems make a stunning addition to the display of tourmalines in the National Gem Collection.


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