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|Erongo Tourmaline Page
Updated May 23, 2018
7:00 PM Eastern
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|The Erongo Mountains of Namibia produce a wide variety of great crystals and minerals. The
surrounding area - Erongo Province - adds even more great mineral specimens to the list.
This section on Erongo Minerals will deal with Tourmaline from Erongo Mountain as well as other
tourmaline found in Erongo Province in areas that lie in the shadow of the Erongo Mountain Range.
I will start off with an unusual schorl Tourmaline crystal from the Erongo Mountains. This specimen
is technically a cluster as it is not just a single crystal. What is notable about this specimen is that it
is not only doubly terminated - it has dual habits! To make it even better, both of the double
terminated crystals both have different types of terminations on each end!
I made a graphic to better explain the idea (shown below: Dual Habit double terminated Erongo
CLICK ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE. MANY PHOTOS EXPAND 2X. Since there are many high
resolution photos on the page, it may take longer than usual to load.
|Individual photos of this unusual tourmaline crystal with a different termination habit on each end are below.
|Tourmaline crystals most often have a triangular cross section. Below we see some textbook perfect Erongo Tourmaline
crystals with just such a triangular cross section. Schorl Tourmaline most often has this triangular cross section as well as
three triangular termination faces. Other varieties of tourmaline can have this shape but more often they are round with a
flat c-face. On the other hand, Schorl Tourmaline usually DOES NOT have a flat C-face (that's the termination faces).
|Tourmaline crystals are usually long and are described as being "prismatic". Thus, that long axis and long faces are known as 'prism faces'. The termination
faces are called 'rhombohedral faces'. The axis for the termination faces is perpendicular to the prism faces. When the termination is simple and flat then it is
known as a "C- face termination". It can be a little confusing and I often have to stop and think about it to remember. This may help a bit: think of the c-axis
as the letter "T" like in the word 'Tourmaline': the top of the "T" is the direction that the C-face axis lies ( it is perpendicular to the long axis in a crystal).
Schorl tourmaline usually doesn't have a simple flat C-Face termination but it does sometime. Shown below are some examples of C-face terminated schorl
tourmaline that I brought back from Namibia.
|Here we have another "Double Terminated - Dual Habit" Tourmaline crystal. They are extremely uncommon and I may run across only one or two
PER YEAR! Since I have a lot of tourmaline, that makes it pretty darn rare to only see 2 per year!
|Another odd tourmaline crystal (shown below)
that I brought back from the Erongo Mountains
of Namibia was this double terminated schorl
tourmaline that had alternating faces that
alternated between slick faces and rough raised
|Shown below is a typical shaped
cluster of schor tourmaline crystals
from the Erongo Mountains of Namibia.
|When it comes to talking about the schorl tourmaline that comes from the Erongo Mountains of Namibia, it should be mentioned that tourmaline crystals and
tourmaline needles commonly occurs on just about every other type of crystal! The most common is on and in Quartz crystals, Aquamarine crystals, but it can
also be more rarely seen on and in Topaz crystals and even fluorite crystals! Here are some examples (I didn't have to look long in my picture folders as it is a
very common thing).
Note: The erongo Fluorite crystal on feldspar with tourmaline needles that is shown below is extremely rare.
|Schorl tourmaline on topaz crystal- Erongo Mountains.
|Fluorite with tourmaline needles on feldspar- Erongo Mountains.
|smoky scepter with tourmaline
needles- Erongo Mountains.