Rubellite Tourmaline on Quartz with Cleavelandite
Malkhan Pegmatite Field, Krasnyi Chikoy, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia
19 cm tall x 23 cm wide
This specimen of prominent tourmaline crystals protruding from sky-blue blades of cleavelandite and citrine quartz has only been recently revealed. The long tourmaline crystals possess a deep cranberry color placing them with the best of the rubellite family. It possesses a dynamic three-pronged explosion in form, color, and texture. Known as Triton, this trident tourmaline formation stands among the finest examples from any locality.
According to The Mineralogical Record, “Malkhan has produced some of the largest and finest specimens of colored tourmaline, especially rubellite, in the world, rivaling discoveries from Brazil, California, Madagascar, and Afghanistan”.
The discovery of rubellite tourmaline in a remote and mountainous area of Russia, about 100 km north of the Mongolian border, forever altered our perception of the species. Tourmaline had been known from this region for well over 100 years. It wasn’t until the 1980s that mining in the region became of great interest. However, internationally, mineral collectors were unfamiliar with these important rubellite tourmalines. They first appeared on the international market around 2005. At the time, they were recognized as possessing exceptional color and size, but none would be categorized as otherwise special. By 2015, a few magnificent examples appeared. These were quickly absorbed into collections around the world and recognized as the world’s finest tourmalines. Triton was held aside by the miners and not released with the others. It would not be until 2020 that the world would see this startling specimen.