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Ch. 4: Topaz and Tourmaline (Rubellite, Indicolite and Achroite)

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These were entrusted to Governor Lincoln of Maine to take to New Haven, and all but one were, at this time, lost. It is believed that these tourmalines are at present in the Imperial Mineralogical Cabinet at Vienna, since there were some fine specimens of tourmalines purchased with the collection of the well-known antiquarian, Vandervull, in 1830. These were recog­nized as being from Paris, Me., by Baron Lederer, the Austrian Consul in New York City, who was familiar with the crystals, having made collections in that locality. In 1825, Prof. Charles U. Shepard visited the locality, and after considerable work obtained some of the best crystals ever found, which are now in the Shepard Collection at Amherst College, having escaped the disastrous fire of 1882. Prof. John W. Webster, of Harvard College, found a large red crystal and some beautiful grass-green ones. In 1865 the locality was supposed to be exhausted, but excavations which have been made there since, from time to time, through the perseverance of Dr. Augustus C. Hamlin, have brought to light many fine crystals. In 1881 the Mount Mica Tin and Mica Company began operations, with Doctor Hamlin as president, and work has been carried on at intervals since. Some hundreds of tourmalines are the result of this mining, among them a blue indicohte crystal 9 inches long, somewhat shattered by blasting. (See Colored Plate No. 4.) It is light-blue at one end, shading gradually into dark-blue and deep blue-black. This would have been the finest crystal known, and would have furnished several hundred carats of fine stones, had it not been so broken. It is now in the State Museum at Albany, Ν. Υ. The next summer's work brought to light material that cut into two of the finest gems, of a grass-green hue, weighing about 30 carats, which surpass in beauty anything hitherto found. (See Colored Plate No. 4.) The gems and crystals obtained by this company have been valued at over $5,000, and the value of all that have been taken from this locality, and sold at the highest rate asked for them as native gems, probably amounts to $50,000. The crystals of green tourmaline, inclosing red crystals of rubellite, found at Mount Mica, when properly cut across the prism form objects of great beauty. The centers have often furnished magnificent
Ch. 4: Topaz and Tourmaline (Rubellite, Indicolite and Achroite) Page of 364 Ch. 4: Topaz and Tourmaline (Rubellite, Indicolite and Achroite)
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Kunz. Precious Stones of North America.
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