Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 1997, Vol. 33, No. 3

Multicolored Bismuth-bearing Tourmaline from Lundazi, Zambia

Tourmalines from an alluvial deposit near Lundazi in Zambia consist of color zoned pink/colorless/yellow-green “watermelon” nodules; many fashioned stones contain patches and blends of all three colors. Although these elbaite tourmalines are unusually rich in bismuth (up to 0.49 wt. % Bi2O3), the presence of bismuth apparently has no effect on their gemological properties. Approximately 10,000 carats of fashioned stones are known to have been produced from October 1996 to mid-1997.