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Giant liddicoatite(Tourmaline) from Estatoby pegmatite, Madagascar (5)
   The upper sector is characterizedby a growth zone only in the direction ofthe c axis, with large pedion faces,resulting in a strongly polychrome appearance looking through the prismfaces. In a few centimeters it is possibleto observe tens of thin and sharp colorsectors, with different varieties of green,yellow, pink, and red color, sharply overgrownby a thick sector in which red tovivid red color is dominant.

27 cm in length (sic!), this is the biggest and probably the best liddicoatite crystal from the find, strongly backlighted it is showing incredible color zonation. Watzl Minerals specimen. A. Watzl Sr. photo.
27 cm in length (sic!), this is the biggest and probably the best liddicoatite crystal from the find, strongly backlighted it is showing incredible color zonation. Watzl Minerals specimen. A. Watzl Sr. photo.

Etching figures on pedion termination of the big liddicoatite crystal. M. Oleszczuk collection. J. Gajowniczek photo.
Etching figures on pedion termination of the big liddicoatite crystal. M. Oleszczuk collection. J. Gajowniczek photo.

 
  Different crystal morphologies andmodifications of the color zoning havebeen observed in the smaller crystalsdiscovered in the satellite pockets.
 
  All crystals from the main and satellitepockets are characterized by verygood luster, great clarity includingcompletely clean gemmy parts, verystrong striations developed along prismfaces, and sometimes superb triangularetching/growth figures on the pedionfaces.Analyses of several fragments oftourmaline crystal from the find (EDSJeol electron microprobe in the laboratoriesof the Natural History Museum ofMilan) confirmed a significant amount ofCa and F, but only a limited amount ofNa, confirming that fluor-liddicoatite isdominant in these crystals.
 
Liddicoatite crystal from the Estatoby find with skeletal termination offered for sale in the Sahatany Valley. J. Gajowniczek photo.
Liddicoatite crystal from the Estatoby find with skeletal termination offered for sale in the Sahatany Valley. J. Gajowniczek photo.
 
  The characteristics of the crystalsfrom this exceptional find at Estatobymake them the best and most spectaculartourmalines ever found in Madagascar Specimens from this find are amongthe best liddicoatites in existence.
 
Doubly terminated liddicoatite crystal from one of the side pockets showing different colors and habit, 6.4 cm in length. Spirifer collection. J. Scovil photo
Doubly terminated liddicoatite crystal from one of the side pockets showing different colors and habit, 6.4 cm in length. Spirifer collection. J. Scovil photo
 
  CONCLUSIONMining continues in the SahatanyValley and in the Estatoby pegmatite.
 
  There is no way to know if a similar pocket will be ever found, but there is agood chance that smaller pockets withsmaller crystals may be found in the future.
 
Liddicoatite crystal with strong color zonation, 6.3 cm in length. A. Watzl Jr. specimen and photo.
Liddicoatite crystal with strong color zonation, 6.3 cm in length. A. Watzl Jr. specimen and photo.

 


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