This magnificent specimen is from the "Bi-Colour Steel" pocket that was found in 2004. This is considered by many to be the best piece from the Pederneira Mine.
This is "Sharon Stone" from the Sharon Stone pocket found in 2000. The Sharon Stone pocket was the second pocket found in the upper tunnel which was called "Dada's Tunnel"
This piece is from "Keke's Pocket" found in 1999, which was the first pocket found in Dada's Tunnel. They are identifiable by the electric green colour of the elbait and the beautiful pink colour of the lepidolite.
Another beautiful specimen.
This specimen is in the Smithsonian Institution.
This is one of my favourites and it is also on the cover of "The World Of Tourmaline" book.
Here is an inside look at the mine.
Daniel Trinchillo, now one of the owners of the Pederneira mine, first became interested in the mine when another dealer showed him a photo of the "Sharon Stone" specimen. He liked it so much that five days later he was down in Brazil looking at tourmaline specimens. That was in 2000. The mine is now one of the most premier spots in the world for tourmaline.
The mine is located in the province of Minas Gerais and the next closest big city to it is the city of Governador Valadares. When going to the mine, they have to land in Governador Valadares and either take a three hour drive from there or fly a small plane to a near by airstrip which is twenty minutes away.
A farmer discovered the mine in the 1940's after a big storm exposed the pegmatite. He tried to operate the mine to extract muscovite for the war effort but the nearby geologists at the Cruzerio mine said it had an insufficient amount of muscovite to be an economical operation. After that, the mine sat closed for around the next 40 years until the 1980's. Between the 80's and 1990 a man named Dilo operated the mine for tourmaline gem ruff. He managed to collected somewhere around ten tons of tourmaline crystals for cutting. Dino left in 1990 but before he left he decided to back blast the tunnel he was working in. After that a miner named Dada decided to go dig more uphill from where Dilo was working. And he was correct in doing so because he found the second tunnel on the property. That is why the first tunnel is called "Dilo's Tunnel" well the second tunnel is called "Dada's Tunnel". Most specimens on the market and in collection's today come from Dada's Tunnel. That tunnel produced beautiful elbait specimens from 1999 to 2006.
Once specimens are collected they are quickly moved into the mine's main house's vault. They are then given a quick evaluation and a packed to be moved again. Word travels fast in Minas Gerais so they like to get the specimens moved out of the vault in one or two days. They then move them to a house in Governador Valadares where they can have a closer examination and try to rebuild them. They are moved once more to a professional cleaning and rebuilding lab before they are ready to sell.
I gathered all my information from watching Daniel Trinchillo's talk at the 2013 Dallas Mineral Convention. I strongly suggest watching it. It was a great learning experience. I would have liked to post some of the photos of the specimens he showed. He showed many more amazing piece's.