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Collectors' Tips

The best tourmaline samples come from a rock type known as pegmatite. To find a good sample of tourmaline, you first must find a pegmatite. Pegmatites are often located in mountain ranges such as the Rocky Mountains and the Adirondacks. They can also be found where mountain ranges used to be, as in the Canadian Shield.

Red elbaite.

A 5-cm red elbaite specimen from the Stargazer Claim.


Assorted picks and hammers.

Once you find a pegmatite, look for open holes, or pockets, for the best crystals. Geological hammers and chisels are needed if you want to collect the crystals. You can find these tools at specialty hardware or outfitting stores. Some pegmatites are better than others; those with lots of coloured minerals (purple, pink, green, blue crystals) are the best bet for finding high-quality crystals. Always remember to check with the owner of the land you wish to explore -- you might have to ask permission to visit the site and collect samples.

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