Hot Tourmalines Missing From Maine College

March 14, 2000

Hot Tourmalines Missing From Maine College

Beware of anyone offering a great deal on tourmalines. Tourmaline specimens two to four inches long were reported stolen March 7 from exhibit cases in the geology building at Colby College, Waterville, ME.

Thieves broke into one of the cases and stole many of the college's finest tourmaline crystals from the Berry-Havey Quarry in Poland, ME, according to faculty member Donald Allen. The specimens were collected during early mining at Berry-Havey. Because of the theft, an exhibit of the tourmalines planned for this spring's Maine Mineral Symposium has been cancelled.

According to Allen, the tourmalines are superb terminated emerald-green gemmy crystals. A large and choice watermelon tourmaline crystal from Newry (another old-time specimen) was also taken. Other showy minerals of much less value were left behind, so the theft appears to have been done by somebody who knew the importance of these specimens.

Images of similar tourmalines can be seen at www.colby.edu/geology. The college has circulated news of the theft on the Internet in the hope that reputable gem traders will recognize them if they're offered for sale. Anyone with information in the case should contact Allen at (207) 872-3249 or dballen@colby.edu.

-by Mark E. Dixon