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Elbaite - Sold


Elbaite is a complex hydrous sodium lithium aluminum borate silicate, and a member of the tourmaline group (Henry et al., 2011). The species name elbaite denotes its type locality on Elba, an island off the west coast of Italy (Verdansky, 1913). Tourmaline group minerals have a notoriously diverse and complex chemistry, with an uncanny ability to accommodate different elements, earning them the designation "garbage can" minerals.

This is a single crystal of elbaite, 2.1 cm long, from a lesser known pegmatite in southern California. While appearing black, this crystal contains little iron, and falls into the compositional range for elbaite. The bottom edge, where detached form matrix, appears blue-green. Interesting piece collected by Cal Graeber.