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Elbaite (Tourmaline Family)

The tourmaline family consists of at least 14 distinct minerals, but only one, elbaite, accounts for nearly all of the tourmaline gemstones. Tourmaline gems form in a wide range of colors. Although best known in shades of green and red, elbaite can also be blue, purple, yellow, or colorless. Tourmaline can also show several colors in a single crystal, making it possible to cut unique multicolored gems. The suite of 55 tourmaline gemstones pictured here range in weight from 1.17 to 18.36 carats and exhibit a wide range of colors. These tourmaline gems spectacularly demonstrate the range of colors produced from a single mining region in Nigeria and greatly enhance the National Gem Collection.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10250-G10304
Weight: 1.17-18.36 carats
Gift of Arthur Groom , 2003
Locality: Ogbomosho , Nigeria

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits