The San Diego County Mineral Collection
of Pala International/William Larson

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PALA-106 - Tourmaline with Quartz - SOLD
Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA

large cabinet, 22.0 x 5.6 x 4.1 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Tourmaline with Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala06y.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala06x.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/amthimalaya.jpg]
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Tourmaline with Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala06f.jpg]

A huge, magnificent , doubly-terminated crystal that one has to acknowledge as one of the largest such ever to come out of the Himalaya and survive. The mine is notorious for its rough handling in situ of gem pockets, and most large tourmalines are irreparably broken in the pockets. This one snapped cleanly in the middle while in situ, and has been very expertly repaired now. It is not just big, but actually elegant, as well. I love the contrast of the two terminations: one a superb cityscape of elongated towers; the other a sharp and unusually lustrous basal termination with an attached quartz crystal. The piece is a floater, complete all around! Other than the repair, it is as close to pristine as you can ask for, which I find also remarkable given the size . The color on this is INTENSE, no pale pink but a deep red hue throughout, with good translucency as well. On display, it stands elegantly on a delicate base we have made, or can be displayed like a "rocketship" as Larson had it for so many years in his company collection at Pala Intl. It is that display angle you can see clearly in the shot of the AMERICAN TREASURES exhibit at Tucson of 2008, in the photo here. Note how this huge and elegant crystal just dominates the case! Mass is 576 grams - when you hold it, it feels like holding a baton, not a tourmaline.


PALA-104 - Morganite - SOLD
Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA

cabinet, 11.7 x 9.7 x 4.4 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Morganite from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala04a.jpg]
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Morganite from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala04b.jpg]
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Morganite from Himalaya Mine, Pala, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala04d.jpg]

At 671 grams, this translucent, very richly-colored pink morganite is certainly among the larger single morganite crystals to come from the County as a whole. It is visually impressive, and very colorful for a morganite from any US locale, for that matter. It is a floater, completely terminated on much of the backside if admittedly rough in texture there. It is not quite pristine, but the few spots of edge wear are not so distracting either. It has one very clean, well-done repair in the middle. However, what is more important than the size and obvious color appeal is to realize that it is a VERY rare survivor from the era in which morganite was named in honor of his patron JP Morgan, by the gret gemologist Kunz. He was at the time working for Tiffany on location in San Diego, and buying up the various gem crystals produced by the Himalaya. Bill Larson thinks this came out prior to 1910. It was one of two famous specimens bequeathed to Cal Tech by the wealthy collector and industrialist TW Warner Jr. from his personal collection (regarded at the time as the single most significant San Diego collection assembled in the era). How many survive as crystals , instead of gems now? Probably, not very many. Bill Larson had told me that although he knew of one better, and a rumour of another, this was always the best Himalaya mine morganite he could go after and in the end, obtained it by exchange. He regarded it as a core specimen in the collection, not just for the color, but even more for its historic import to the mine and the species. Fine morganites of this size were not found agai at the Himalaya in later years despite much searching!


PALA-101 - Schorl on Quartz - SOLD
Fano Mine, near Anza, Cahuilla District, Riverside Co., California, USA

large cabinet, 19.3 x 7.2 x 5.8 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Schorl on Quartz from Fano Mine, near Anza, Cahuilla District, Riverside Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala01a.jpg]
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Schorl on Quartz from Fano Mine, near Anza, Cahuilla District, Riverside Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala01c.jpg]
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Schorl on Quartz from Fano Mine, near Anza, Cahuilla District, Riverside Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09mix/pala01d.jpg]

This is an extremely impressive specimen, visually, and quite unusual for the County for both its size and display. Schorls from San Diego are rare. Big ones, all the more so. This is a 5.5-inch-long (14cm), doubly-terminated schorl, perched on a doubly-terminated quartz . The whole cluster is a floater, complete all around and fully terminated all around. It is a miracle it survived at all, a few repairs on the stalk or not (repaired 3x). Larson ranked this as one of the top schorls from the County, and certainly for a matrix piece it presents dramatically. Other than the repairs themselves, it is pristine and undamaged elsewhere


PALA-147 - Smoky Quartz - SOLD
Dawson Prospect, Pala, San Diego County, California, USA

large cabinet, 25.1 x 14.7 x 11.8 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Smoky Quartz from Dawson Prospect, Pala, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala47a.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Dawson Prospect, Pala, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala47b.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Dawson Prospect, Pala, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala47c.jpg]

A HUGE, 13-pound , transparent smoky quartz crystal from the County, highly unusual! Also, it happens to be good, too. It is complete all around and has a fine termination with almost no edge wear at all, despite its size and heft.


PALA-146 - Calcite - SOLD
Hilton Deposit, Anza Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California, USA

large cabinet, 29.0 x 17.3 x 10.5 cm
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Calcite from Hilton Deposit, Anza Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala46a.jpg]
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Calcite from Hilton Deposit, Anza Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala46b.jpg]
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Calcite from Hilton Deposit, Anza Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala46d.jpg]

A huge plate of large calcite crystals from a remote deposit at the edge of San Diego County, in the Anza Borrego desert. A large specimen like this should be considered a museum-sized, quite uncommon, display specimen.


PALA-145 - Calcite - SOLD
Ballestero Ranch, Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico

large cabinet, 19.7 x 15.9 x 9.2 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Calcite from Ballestero Ranch, Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico [db_pics/new09/pala45a.jpg]
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Calcite from Ballestero Ranch, Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico [db_pics/new09/pala45c.jpg]
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Calcite from Ballestero Ranch, Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico [db_pics/new09/pala45d.jpg]
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Calcite from Ballestero Ranch, Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico [db_pics/new09/pala45e.jpg]

The mineral deposits of Baja are continuous with those of San Diego and many County collectors are happy to own things regardless of political borders. Larson, and the Pala collection, were no exception. This is a dramatic example of the famous amber-colored, translucent calcite crystals found in the 1960s-1970s in the Rosarito Beach area. This specimen was obtained from the Josephine Scripps collection, and is the finest large example of these unusual calcites that we have seen. The large crystal measures 10 cm, and all are pristine. It is a superb display piece, in person much more impressive.


PALA-144 - Kunzite in matrix - SOLD
Anita Mine, Hiriart Hill, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

large cabinet, 17 x 2 x 12.5 x 7.4 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Kunzite in matrix from Anita Mine, Hiriart Hill, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala44a.jpg]
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Kunzite in matrix from Anita Mine, Hiriart Hill, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala44b.jpg]
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Kunzite in matrix from Anita Mine, Hiriart Hill, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala44d.jpg]
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Kunzite in matrix from Anita Mine, Hiriart Hill, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala44e.jpg]

This is a spectacular display piece, museum sized and of high quality, showcasing a rare large kunzite IN MATRIX from the county. The undamaged crystal has a rich pink color, and is DOUBLY-terminated, complete at both ends. The crystal is not broken off from or repaired onto its matrix - rather, it was very , very carefully excavated to leave a stable anchorage behind it. It measures 18 x 5 x 2 cm in size and is complete. There is a thin crack in the middle, but the matrix stably holds it together. In person, it is more clearly seen how sharp the leftmost termination is, in particular. The color is excellent,particularly for the mine and the County in general. The style and the matrix together are uniquye - it is obviously not from the common places we see , Brazil or Afghanistan. And, as it is in matrix, this has to rank highly among all kunzite found here, from several localities, over the years since the early 1900s when it was found in San Diego and named in honor of the gemologist GF Kunz. Many people do not realize that, yes, San Diego was the type lcoale for kunzite! But, specimens of this magnitude do not come up often, and so its easy to forget that bit of history in light of the contemporary production from Afghanistan and Brazil. This is the rare county piece, though, that compares admirably to ANYTHING mother nature has produced elsewhere, AND comes from the USA. I rank it a major specimen for any collector of gem crystals or US classics in this size range. NOTE: this is from a private collection in Germamny which was broken up several years ago, and not from the Larson/PALA collection, though it fit well within this update to include it here.


PALA-143 - Hureaulite in phosphate nodule (Palaite) - SOLD
Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

cabinet, 10.9 x 7.2 x 4.6 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Hureaulite in phosphate nodule (Palaite) from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala43b.jpg]
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Hureaulite in phosphate nodule (Palaite) from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala43c.jpg]
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Hureaulite in phosphate nodule (Palaite) from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala43e.jpg]

An interesting historic specimen comprising a solid phosphate nodule with layered sicklerite (brown or black on outside), and hureaulite (reddish to pink) inside. This was once thought to be a new species, and named in honor of the district as "palaite," though this name is now discredited. Still , an interesting historic oddity, and mineralogically interesting as such phosphate pods are rare in the Pala pegmatites.


PALA-139 - Cassiterite - SOLD
Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA

miniature, 3.2 x 2.7 x 1.1 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Cassiterite from Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala39a.jpg]
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Cassiterite from Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala39b.jpg]
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Cassiterite from Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala39c.jpg]
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Cassiterite from Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala39d.jpg]

I never even knew that pegmatitic cassiterites existed in this mine, which was worked mostly in the late 90s, early 2000s and is now basically defunct. Yet here we have what Bill Larson believed to be the finest crystal found in a small pocket: a sharp, triangular-looking , lustrous and well-termianted single crystal. It is complete on the back as well, though coated lightly with little tourmalines and quartzes. I cannot recall seeing tourmaline on cassiterite from ANYwhere, in my experience. A significant County specimen, in any case.


PALA-138 - Tourmaline - SOLD
Carmelita Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA

miniature, 4.0 x 3.2 x 2.8 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Tourmaline from Carmelita Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala38a.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Carmelita Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala38b.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Carmelita Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala38e.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Carmelita Mine, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala38.jpg]

A bizarrely sculpted tourmaline crystal that is complexly formed form etch effects in situ, into ths cityscape form. It is a dark green color, but it is green, and the edges are gemmy when backlit. A great rarity for this small locality, and a very fascinating tourmaline in its own right, as well.


PALA-137 - Tourmaline - SOLD
Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

miniature, 4.9 x 4.8 x 4.4 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Tourmaline from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala37b.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala37c.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala37d.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala37e.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Stewart Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala37.jpg]

A 214-gram , very sharp and complete tourmaline from the famous Stewart Mine, with an identifying thin gem cap of blue color. It has to be backlit to see it - and this is admittedly a dark crystal, but it is there as a discrete layer atop the darker core. For the size and form, this is a good locality piece.


PALA-135 - Tourmaline on Quartz - SOLD
Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA

small cabinet, 8.5 x 5.4 x 4.4 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Tourmaline on Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala35a.jpg]
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Tourmaline on Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala35b.jpg]
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Tourmaline on Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala35c.jpg]
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Tourmaline on Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala35d.jpg]
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Tourmaline on Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala35.jpg]

A unique Little 3 Mine piece, as you never see tourmaline perched on quartz like this from there! Yet, this piece hosts a 4.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm deep green tourmaline, just sitting up there on the quartz! It has a very fine, smooth termination, and silky strands of green color, almost fibrous, running down the sides. THis specimen is most unusual, for the tourmaline's gemminess and nice lustre, AND for its perch


PALA-134 - Smoky Quartz - SOLD
Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA

large cabinet, 19.6 x 10.7 x 9.6 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Smoky Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala34a.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala34c.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala34d.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala34e.jpg]
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Smoky Quartz from Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala34f.jpg]

A serious smoky for the Himalaya! This is a large, symmetric, very smoky quartz , and such are rare from the mine, When found, they are usually quite pale, but this is intensely colored. It weighs over 2 kilos and so is very hefty. It is pristine all around, except a tiny , in context trivial nick on teh back of the termination.


PALA-133 - Apatite on Smoky Quartz - SOLD
Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA

small cabinet, 9.8 x 6.4 x 4.3 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Apatite on Smoky Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala33a.jpg]
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Apatite on Smoky Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala33b.jpg]
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Apatite on Smoky Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala33c.jpg]
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Apatite on Smoky Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala33d.jpg]
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Apatite on Smoky Quartz from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala33e.jpg]

A lovable ugly to some, this is a MAJOR County specimen to others. This beautiful smoky quartz hosts a 6-cm-long , doubly terminated apatite crystal - a particularly rare species from this mine, and a huge crystal of it. The ghostly white apatite is terminated on the bottom quite nicely, and etched or contacted into a scepter shape on its top termination. The contrast of the two forms is appealing. The quartz is a floater, complete all around, even terminated on the bottom.


PALA-132 - Tourmaline - SOLD
Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA

small cabinet, 7.0 x 6.7 x 6.2 cm
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ex.  William Larson

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Tourmaline from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala32b.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala32d.jpg]
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Tourmaline from Little Three Mine, Ramona District, San Diego Co., California, USA [db_pics/new09/pala32e.jpg]

A massive, 640 -gram tourmaline crystal among the fatter ones I have seen from this locality, with a good form to it, and very little damage (mostly minor wear, to the back edges). As typical for the locality, these are dark, dark green. However they are translucent if you put a strong light to them. As with others, the top 5mm or so of this piece glow a diffuse olive green when strongly lit from above. Being fatter than others, the core here is also darker in proportion. It is, for the size and girth, an important sized crystal at a reasonable price as far as they go. Old material, now hard to obtain.



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