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Press Release - May 18, 2015

The ‘King of Tourmalines’ opens his cabinet of extraordinary fine minerals to the world

Gerhard Wagner has collected since he was a child; now, with an estimated value of $10+ million, he's ready to release his world-famous collection of tourmalines – more than 400 artistic specimens, including some of the most significant ever mined – to a ready and waiting public; June 7 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas

tourmaline on tourmaline with quartz
DALLAS — When The Gerhard Wagner Collectionof extraordinary tourmalines crosses the block on June 7, 2015, at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, it will be — for hardcore collectors in the world of Fine Minerals — as if a vast cave of treasures, carefully cultivated and perfectly kept for decades, is opening for the first time.

Top examples from the collection include an amazing Tourmaline on Tourmaline with Quartz from the Porcupine Pocket of the Pederneira Mine, Brazil (estimate $500,000+), the sublime Tourmaline on Cleavelandite from the Grandon Pocket of the Pederneira Mine, Brazil (estimate: $450,000+) and the 'Flower of Pederneira,' an impressive find of emerald and burgundy tourmaline on quartz, with lepidolite and cleavelandite, from the Proud Pocket of the Pederneira Mine, Brazil (estimate: $450,000+).

Tourmaline on Cleavelandite
"This is like a king opening the crown jewels to bids from his subjects," said Jim Walker, Director of Fine Minerals auctions at Heritage. "Gerhard, while as humble and kind a man as you could ever hope to meet, is known as the King of Tourmalines. Collectors are chomping at the bit to obtain just a single piece of his extraordinary collection."

The June 7 auction also creates an opportunity for non-collectors to learn something about the beauty and value of the specimens not just as minerals, but as magnificent pieces of fine art.

"This collection ... illustrates the fact that the beauty of ... high-quality mineral specimens make them objects comparable to the most refined forms of art," writes Dr. Federico Pezzotta, Mineralogy Museum Curator in Milan, Italy in the book, The World of Tourmaline, which accompanies the auction.

Wagner's passion for collecting fine minerals dates back to his childhood, well before he could ever consider buying any of the specimens that have made him famous. The fascination that began as a child picking up fossils on the shores of Lake Constance, on the Rhine River in Germany, became a process of education, collecting and patience that have led to him being one of the most respected and well-liked names in the business.

"It was Gerhard's willingness to wait for the right specimen to appear, at the right time in his life, that makes him and his collection so extraordinary," said Walker. "He perfectly balanced the demands of collecting and family life over the decades to assemble what is nothing less than the finest grouping of its kind in existence."

The collection will be previewed in a highlight exhibition in Dallas, June 4-6, 2015.

The 432-lot collection, besides the tourmalines, includes elbaites, schorls, aquamarines, liddicoatite and other magnificent specimens from around the world.

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