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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Elbaite (NMNH G10659)
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10659-00
Locality Nigeria
Weight 12.44 ct

Gift of Mr Niveet Nagpal in 2010.

Elbaite is a colorful member of the tourmaline group of minerals. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word “turmali,” which applied to different gemstones found in Sri Lanka. Tourmaline comes in many color-specific varieties, including indicolite (blue), rubellite (red), Paraiba (vivid blue to green), watermelon (pink surrounded by green), bi-colored (two colors in one crystal) and multi-colored (three or more colors in one crystal). Tourmaline can also be green, purple, yellow, brown, or colorless. Today Brazil is the largest producer of gem tourmaline; other important sources include the U.S., Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Russia, Malawi, and Nigeria. This fancy mixed-cut tourmaline is rectangular in shape with parallel diagonal facets on the pavilion which create a unique optical illusion.



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