Liddicoatite is an uncommon form of tourmaline. It was first discovered in Madagascar and recognized as a distinct member of the tourmaline group in 1977, and named in honor of Richard T. Liddicoat, a renowned gemologist and the president of the Gemological Institute of America.
Liddicoatite crystals are typically very dark. Lapidaries slice them perpendicular to the c axis and polish the slices. This reveals the vivid colors and unique triangular color zoning, sometimes referred to as the “Mercedes” symbol. To see an actual gem-quality crystal of liddicoatite with matrix from Madagascar is an extreme rarity. This rubellite red liddicoatite and quartz was mined in 2018. It was part of a small pocket which produced the very finest known matrix liddicoatites from Madagascar.
*Professionally repaired with minor restoration.