Monthly Archives: August 2013

Clean medium toned blue from Namibia#1052

  The sun’s down so I am looking at the real nice emerald cut under a yellowish light.  It responds by really powering up its medium tone highly transparent body.  It ends are open and responsive to the slightest movement  … Continue reading

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Nigerian Red Beauty Oval#1051

  There have been better times in the rough tourmaline business.  Some twenty years or so ago a gigantic amount of reddish tourmaline was found in Nigeria.  There was so much that it actually depressed prices and it seems like … Continue reading

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A straight beige that could have been wheat round

This beige is almost without tricks.  He is pure and without dichroism.   He flashes abundantly under even low light conditions.  He has excellent crystal and weighs 5.84 carats.  But he was give a different path than most rounds, by having … Continue reading

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A moderately included dark tone level plume, round#1049

  This plume, rich red purple, colored gemstone has a richer tone level than the average in the collection.  This tends to be the case for most of the red purples and they are more a sultry stone than a … Continue reading

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Olive Green Shield Cut#1048

  Now no tourmaline really wants to be labeled olive green, but there are many of them out there.  Many of them are dark and dense and have helped give tourmaline its popular presence (dark and green) in some people’s … Continue reading

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Red Round with a Purple Overtone#1047

  A purple overtone with red (rubellite) is not unusual.  Some people rate the red with a purple overtone very highly (and charge you for it) while others like the pinker reds.  This situation is mirrored, with ruby from different … Continue reading

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Nice sized red oval#1046

  When in doubt I like to call a tourmaline red rather than rich pink, so this oval is red.  Its saturation is not the best, but it is a beautiful oval.  Unfortunately there is a flaw that can be … Continue reading

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Beige on a different axis with a secret, oval.#1045

  Thank goodness I just followed my own advice.  Face up I am looking at a rather paler stone with a darker middle and light pastel ends.  This means that the c axis which usually goes down the long axis … Continue reading

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Rich Reddish Orange Round#1044

  The tourmaline the jester has brew up a good one this time.  Not only does this tourmaline have a garnet color, but a tone level that is very believable for garnet.  It is not too dark, but has a … Continue reading

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Average Dichroic Pink Oval#1043

  I can easily see a pale pink and a richer c axis color in this gemstone.  It does a good job of mixing the colors and the result is a solid average pink.  It is eye clean and has … Continue reading

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Uniform moderate golden yellow droplet.#1043

  This standard round brilliant does not appear to be dichroic.  It is a really nice yellow with a golden glow that is not easy to get.  Its level of tone is pretty high for a yellow,  when you consider … Continue reading

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Beige for another round of color#1040

  Now I didn’t look up the definition of beige when I name this standard round brilliant, it just came to me.  What I am seeing is the pinker side of wheat and I still like beige for that.  I … Continue reading

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Blue Spruce Emerald Cut#1041

  I like this good sized emerald cut’s color because it shifts around the blue green spruce look.  Some greens are so middle of the road and have such stability that one glance, as pretty as it maybe, is all … Continue reading

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Fine Namibian Blue Oval#1039

  This Namibian blue oval has a top quality blue with a medium tone level.  It is cut with a two stepped crown that makes a bright stone and gives an interesting play of flash off the surface of the … Continue reading

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Melon color in round gemstone.#1038

  Now I am probably splitting hairs to distinguish a fruity melon color from a Pad (a variety of sapphire) from pink orange, but it is close to dinner and this stone looks delicious.  It is mostly orange with a … Continue reading

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A richer wheat for a fine round gemstone#1037

  If I was a drinking man I would call this color some expensive white wine color, but I am a down to earth wheat man so wheat it is.  This nice standard round brilliant has a good medium tone … Continue reading

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Crisp Medium Toned Blue Oval#1036

This oval is not made of top grade Namibian blue.  But when you’re looking for “different” tourmaline with distinction, you don’t always go for the best.  This oval lacks the tone level of the best, but its color is pretty … Continue reading

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Dark toned saturated blue emerald cut#1035

  This emerald cut with normal end angles is certainly a very saturated blue with out any traces of green in natural light.  (touch of green in yellowish light as expected)  It flashes nicely in a decent light, but has … Continue reading

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Winning Wheat Droplet#1034

  This small round still has enough tone level to be wheat rather than just pale out on me.  It is so much rarer than pink, but certainly not as highly valued, accept for collectors like me.  The gemstone appears … Continue reading

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Included Afghan Pink #….#1033

  This is one of a number of pink rounds from a lot I bought from Afghanistan.  They are a nice lighter bright pink.  The biggest disappointment in them is the amount of inclusions they have.  There are better ones … Continue reading

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Yellow another find droplet#1032

  This pure medium yellow droplet came from a couple of large semifacet pebbles I bought inexpensively years ago.  A combination of good properties sets the stones I cut from the pebbles apart from everything else I have been able … Continue reading

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Orange today and orange tomorrow droplet#1031

  One of the colors in tourmaline I wanted to get when I started cutting gems again after a long hiatus was orange.  Since Brazil and other classic locations produced very little if any orange (without help from man) some … Continue reading

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Hurray for a smaller green shield cut.#1023

It is always a pleasure to be able to preform a piece of tourmaline rough into a triangular shape suitable for a shield cut.  This is about as small a shield cut that I make and it has a great … Continue reading

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Orange with a pink modifier in the Round.#1030

No matter how I look at this orange round it is orange.  And orange is not a common color in tourmaline.  It is a bit on the fruity side and I like to think of a nice cantaloupe rather than … Continue reading

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True blue that so sweet in the round.#1029

I think that Namibia should be declared a world treasure for the blue tourmaline (indicolite) it produces.  It also produces other colors that I don’t want to put down, but blue is the name of the game for me.  My … Continue reading

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Pad your bet with this orange pink round#1028

After dravites, brown yellows to brown oranges and all tourmalines in the brown world, (progress is being made in that area) the mixture of orange/pink is the most under appreciated color range in saturated colors.  (Achroite, colorless, I am leaving … Continue reading

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Outstanding Blue Green Droplet of color.#1027

  It is nice to run into an outstanding stone that should have been remembered, but wasn’t.  At 1.67 carats this standard round brilliant will make a fine droplet.   It is very bright and really loves yellowish light as … Continue reading

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Dynamic Blue Shield Cut#1026

I can see why I have cut a number of shield cuts from this  tone level  of blue.  It makes a beautiful pastel shield cut because the blue is not dichroic.  Now I think dichroicism in tourmaline can be great, … Continue reading

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If you like pink you will like this oval#1025

  This pink oval has a much better tone level than much of the available rough.  It doesn’t damage that great beginning by being included or by having any unfortunate overtones.  It is pure pink and a very sharp pink … Continue reading

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Golden Brown Oval#1024

  This tourmaline is dichroic with the darker drown in the ends, but they do not make the stone dark.  I would call this a dravite, but it is golden and spicy and not a color drag at all.  The … Continue reading

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pink/orange slider for the droplets of color#1022

  Nice bright clean droplet that slides with the light from pink to orange.  It size and being a standard round brilliant insures that this pitch hitter will make the droplet team.  It weights 1.03 carats.   Bruce

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Fine Green Emerald cut#1021

Now this is a fine emerald cut.  It has all the right properties of clean color that is especial bright under incandescent/yellowish light, tone level and saturation.  It also has normal angles on the ends. During the last few years … Continue reading

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Small Darker Blue Green Emerald Cut.#1020

  This smaller emerald cut is darken by closed ends, but has a good blue color blend with green.  It appears to be eye clean and has some flash in the corners which comes from having normal angles on the … Continue reading

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Definitly dichroic green droplet of color.#1019

  This bright medium grass green droplet has darker weeds mixed in it  that makes for a lawn with nice dynamic color.  It seems to be eye clean and weighs .94 carats.  It is a very nice addition to the … Continue reading

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Celery juice in a tourmaline emerald cut.#1018

  Celery juice was squeezed out of me when I saw this tourmaline.  Now I know it is a tourmaline,  but this is a jester moment.  I would definitely think that this was a beryl if I didn’t know better.  … Continue reading

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Solid down to earth green emerald cut#1017

  In 1968 I returned home from Golden Colorado via Yellowstone and Niagara Falls, after taking a surveying course.  I had stayed in cheap motels and eaten fast food so I had a little money left over.  My home was … Continue reading

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A salmon that is a bit fishy oval#1016

  I always smile when I am obviously looking at a gemstone under different conditions than when I put the gemstone’s official color on the back of the boxes they live in.  Today under a yellowish light on a gray … Continue reading

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Really Nice Green Round#1015

  I know that I shouldn’t bias my love of a color on cut, but with green I truly long for nice ones that are not emerald cuts.  There are several reasons for cutting green tourmaline rough into emerald cuts. … Continue reading

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Big pink with c axis in ends emerald cut.#1014

  The emerald cut is dominated by the dichroic a/b axis.  This color is a very pale pink that shows a touch of cream.  The preferred color is the darker pink c axis, with a better saturation, but it was … Continue reading

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A yellow green IceT droplet#1012

  A delicate wisp of yellow green and a Hi O Silver will get this bright clean very pastel droplet pledge on the trail to being a star in the western sky.   This standard round brilliant needs you to be … Continue reading

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Red winner for the Droplets#1013

I have cross the line of doubt and I declare that this addition to the droplets is red.  It is bright crisp and ready to play.  This standard round brilliant comes in at a bit on the heavy side at … Continue reading

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Afghan pink #… round#1011

  I have cut quite a number of these included medium light pink round tourmaline.  They are the size of droplets, but I don’t included all of them so as not to dilute the group too much.  This standard round … Continue reading

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How long I have waited pink/champagne/green tri-color#1010

  Now I love tri and bi and watermelon and completely mixed up tourmaline, but they are not the main thrust of the collection.   Color in all its diversity is center stage, yet chances do come along and I have … Continue reading

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PInk Orange droplet of Color#1009

  I was ready to say that this droplet of color is a pure pink with a bit higher level of tone than usual, but then I read the back of the box.  It says that there is a bit … Continue reading

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Gold dominates this oval.#

  This rich bright golden oval was cut with the c axis perpendicular to the table.  I can see the paler dichroic yellow around the edges, but gold is number one in this gemstone.  And a very nice gemstone it … Continue reading

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yellow gold dichroic oval

  This yellow gold dichroic oval is open and eye clean.  There is not a speck of green anywhere to be found and I call this one yellow.   I love to yellow without green because it is rare.  Unfortunately … Continue reading

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Red/Rich Pink Oval#1006

  The debate will always go on about the line between Rubellite (Red) and rich pink tourmaline.  However you make the call this tone level of red does not usually appear as bright as some pinks.  This is one of … Continue reading

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Plain and Simple Pink Oval#1005

  Some color calls are certainly easier than others.  This oval is simply pink.  No flaws and a fine crystal lets you see easily into it depths.  It is also not dichroic, which limits its dynamic color display, but makes … Continue reading

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Red/Blue makes Mauve droplet of color#1004

  This is a peculiar droplet of color from Nigeria.  I have red/blue on the back of the box and I know that they were the colors in the rough.  I must have seen them when I wrote the sticker, … Continue reading

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An Oval Mixer of yellowish green and gold with a touch of brown.#1003

  This oval will have to be called a yellow, but its dichroic nature keeps the stone dancing between flashes of greenish yellow and golden all with a touch of brown.  I am a true supporter of yellowish tourmaline, but … Continue reading

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Oval with Dreaded Olive Green Color#1002

  This larger oval has a very common and not very appreciated color, olive green.  I have not really run into other gemstones being called olive green, but some yellowish greens with a touch of brown produces a tourmaline that … Continue reading

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White bread sort of wheat oval#1001

  A bright clean oval that is so pale that I have to look at it closely to call it wheat.  Now this is not your whole wheat variety, a bleach look that has very little brown and might even … Continue reading

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Sea Foam Tourmaline from Afghanistan#200

Only Large Barion cut from Large Lot.   One of two Barion Cut from first large crystal.  Weight 13.39 carats     We down to earth people, who actually make things, have been known to scorn those who are just … Continue reading

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A retro example of the Polish Wars.

The following tale was written in June 2001 which is over twelve years ago from this moment, August 2013.  I had not returned to faceting for that long and I was in a period to aggressive experimentation in what I … Continue reading

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Cutting a stubby tourmaline with a closed c axis

As of August 2013 the supply of quality tourmaline available to the custom cutter  and coming out of Africa, has probably hit a new low.  I really don’t think much material is coming out of the rest of the world, … Continue reading

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In honor of the 4th of July a trip down Freedom Road.

The following description of going down Freedom Road from Mars Pa. was written over 10 years ago.  It was my attempt to give a feeling of the land that I have come to call my own, after inspecting many industrial … Continue reading

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The long and winding road of testing “Laurellite”

Laurellite is a name that  I have given to a new variety of  copper bearing Elbaite tourmaline from Mozambique, that demonstrates a Reverse Alexandrite Color Change from purple in natural light to blue to blue green in incandescent light.  I … Continue reading

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Golden cream with pink high lights, round.#1000

  I hope that I have this color in the droplets because it deserves to be there.  Creams are much less common than pinks and I go after them. This pastel is complex for a pale face, some of which … Continue reading

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Blue purple included round,cuprian#999

  The title is frank and earnest and will probably leave you completely unprepared for my outburst. I love this stone, I love this stone, I love this stone … This purple floats around like all purples do under different … Continue reading

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Smaller blue green oval had clutter#998

  Some tourmaline I still facet have enough clutter in them to significantly reduce their transparency.  In a fantasy world,I would be able to get all the colors I wanted without problems with the purity of the gemstone, but that … Continue reading

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Fine yellow round seaks help with drift toward green.#997

  This bright standard brilliant is an example of a yellow with a hope for stardom, falling pray to the evils of green. Now where yellow becomes yellow green in tourmaline varies between peoples eyes.  Even normal eyes have different … Continue reading

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A large blue shield of honor and honesty#996

  This shield cut can not help, but come clean.  It has nothing to hide except for maybe a drift toward green in artificial light.  Still it is a natural pastel blue, but not a baby blue.  It probably has … Continue reading

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Almost square, very transparent green, to blue emerald cut.#995

This is a beautiful gemstone.   Now that I have gotten that out of the way, this gemstone feels Afghanistan.  I think I purchased it in my last significant lot of green tourmaline from anywhere.  The squarish cut is unusual, but … Continue reading

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NIce ring sized round included pink.#994

  This pink is dichroic and the paler pink and richer c axis pink mix together very well to make a dynamic churning display.   Unfortunately it does have eye visible flaws like many pinks.  It may be unfortunate, but some … Continue reading

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A Responsive Engine of Color, Blue Green Emerald Cut#993

  Nicely balanced and brightly tuned this engine of color goes from green toward blue in the drop of a light source.  Since it idles in mixed light most of the time, I call it a blue-green.  It is clean … Continue reading

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Copper, Red, Tourmaline, A Christmas tale

Dec. 29th 2009 On the night before Christmas I was again examining my tourmaline collection with my new spectrometer in search of SOMETHING. I have gotten better with it and alone with double checking some earlier cuprian tourmaline I began … Continue reading

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I Am Not A Heater and the first “Laurellites”

April 10th 2009 I keep reading literature on heating cuprian Elbaite with a growing sadness. I am reading about the demise, that I knew was taking place, of a new variety of Elbaite that is little recognize, appreciated or conserved. … Continue reading

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Round with sliced pie placement of gold and green.#992

  This standard round brilliant makes me smile.  It takes me back to my very early days on the internet when I had found a dealer who cut some tourmaline down the long axis of smaller alluvial pebbles.  I asked … Continue reading

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Long ratio open ended green emerald cut#991

  When the choice and supply of tourmaline rough runs down, I usually have a choice.  Either buy medium pinks or long ratio greens.  With pinks you do  not have a problem with closed ends, but they can be included.  … Continue reading

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Heavily Included Yellow Oval#990

  Sometimes even I push the limits of decency in the name of color and something interesting to cut.  This oval is a nice yellow, but is so heavily included that it should probably not have been faceted.  How many … Continue reading

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Orange with yellow and pink highlights, droplet.#989

  Orange is a complicated color in tourmaline and most of the orange in the tourmaline world has come from Africa.  Some golden oranges that desaturate to browns, easily are not very attractive.  They are called dravites and not particularly … Continue reading

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How Green is my Afghan Gem#988

  This is a beautiful gemstone.  Its bluer a/b axis blends beautifully with the more yellow green c axis.  I said blend because the tone level of both axis are the same and that gives such a light bright feeling … Continue reading

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Nigerian Pink Edged in Yellow Green Round#987

  This larger round is mostly a medium light pastel pink.  The yellow green on the side of  girdle is pretty isolated and only really effects the body (green and pink make yellow)of the stone when you peer threw that … Continue reading

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Pure Blue Oval#986

  There is absolutely nothing wrong with with bright, flashy medium pastel  blue oval.  It is not noticeably dichroic and it has great transparency, without a flaw in the sky.  So why does it leave me rather cold.  It really … Continue reading

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Pale Golden Peach and I think of Topaz oval#985

  Now everyone would love a fantastic Imperial Topaz and this dichroic pastel golden peach tourmaline does not measure up, but it does look like topaz that I could afford and was actually offered for sale.  I can see its  … Continue reading

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Dichroic, golden orange oval#984

  Some gemstone grab you even with a casual glance while others get passed over.  This strongly dichroic (two different colors/intensity of color depending on the axis of view) deserves a closer look.   The higher tone level c axis color … Continue reading

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Nigerian pink-green makes yellow round#983

  The piece of rough that became this standard round brilliant came from the giant find of tourmaline in Nigeria over 20 years ago.  The overall appearance of the round is that of a yellow, but it is easy to … Continue reading

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Long Ratio, Open Ended, Green Emerald Cut#982

  Rough that requires a long ratio emerald cut is not #1 on my hit parade.  They take effort to keep their long narrow facets square even during the polishing process.  Being common does not help my enthusiasm either.  The … Continue reading

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Bright Medium Pink Oval with noticable inclusions.#981

I bring up inclusions with this nice bright flashy oval because it is easily seen, by eye, with the stone face up.  It also effect the way I cut this stone.  I work very hard to minimize inclusions under the … Continue reading

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Color Change/Shift in Red Tourmaline

Feb. 27th 2010 The first well known feature of some red tourmaline is that it de-saturates under incandescent light and turns brownish. This is not desirable and has cause the use of the variety name Rubellite to be only acceptable … Continue reading

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Cutting & Faceting Tourmaline

Cutting & Faceting Tourmaline by Bruce A. Fry Considering Color & Weight Retention When cutting rough tourmaline, as with any colored gemstone variety, the lapidary must consider both color and weight retention. The unique complexity of cutting tourmaline comes into … Continue reading

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An Included Oval of Mixed Yellow Persuasion#980

  This oval has at least one very eye visible spot in it  It is on the pavilion and I have been able to pick it up from the crown, but it is quite visible from the back.  Besides that … Continue reading

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Clean Moderate Tone Green Emerald cut with open ends.#979

  This flashy emerald cut needs to be examined closely to be really appreciated.  The end sparkle because they are open and this green tourmaline shows a very good level of transparency.  The stone’s color slides from grassy green to … Continue reading

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Included pale pink round from Afghanistan#978

  This small included pastel pink round came from a disappoint lot that I bought.  I have cut many rounds of a pale blue and this pastel pink from the lot and I haven’t included them in the droplets to … Continue reading

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Moderately rich pink oval#977

  This well cut oval lives up to the ideals of the collect.  What keeps it from really demanding notice is a rather middle of the road pink.  But if it was ever taken and put on its own, it … Continue reading

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Color Dots, a golden tourmaline round#976

  When I first started cutting again after many years away from the craft, I did not spend a lot of money.  In tourmaline  I went for lots of small material and tried to see how small a gemstone I … Continue reading

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Hot Hot Pink Droplet#975

  I know that I have presented pink as a pretty common color for tourmaline and it is, but there are exceptional pinks.  This droplet had a chance of being in a piece of custom jewelery until the well went … Continue reading

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Surprising mint green droplet#974

  This droplet tried to make the big time in a piece of custom jewelery, but I ran out of money.  When it came home I tested it with my new spectrometer and I finally understood why I really liked … Continue reading

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Pure Yellow Droplet of Color#973

  This flashy pure yellow droplet is not clean.  But it is so nice that I actually tried to have it set in custom jewelery years ago.  The first piece of jewelery was so expensive that I had to drop … Continue reading

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An All Star Pink Oval#971

  Nothing can be said that is exceptional about this beautiful oval, except that it brings everything together to make a great pink stone.  I would be proud to show it off as a representative of my collection even though … Continue reading

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A cream round with a touch of strawberry juice#970

  Cream is not a strong color and it is not that common in tourmaline.  Especially when you compare it with pink.  So, of course, I have actively sought out cream, while the pinks keep rolling in.  I just looked … Continue reading

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Decent pink oval#969

  This richer pink, lightly included, oval is a decent stone.  It has a two row step cut crown.  It is the type of gemstone that kind of get lost in this collection, but if you’re looking for a smaller … Continue reading

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Large Dravite wins ugliest award#968

  This large standard brilliant round weighs in at 23.4 carats, which makes it a heavy weight contender.  It came to me preformed to be a round and I did not have any qualms about going with the shape.   I … Continue reading

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A beautiful plain jane pink round.#967

  This nice bright standard round of 1.75 carats is one of the pieces that gives me rest between cutting the bigger more exotic tourmaline.  She never gives me problems except for maybe a lost culet once in a while.  … Continue reading

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Achroite with a secret#966

There is always a danger in seeing what you want or expect to see in a pale colored stone with tourmaline.  Many to most tourmalines have two colors (a/b and c axis) and those colors can be quite sensitive to … Continue reading

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Blue Afghanistan trilliant beauty.#965

  Now the internet has points that transcend just a way to quickly try and buy faceting rough.  This site for example.  I did write for another site for a while and got to meet some interesting people.  I hope … Continue reading

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A Great Fake Peach Round

    True or False.  Pink and green light mixed together with the right level of tone makes YELLOW. True and the story goes on. In the tray this large round with a pavilion consisting of eight split mains and … Continue reading

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Peach shield cut with a brownish cast.#964

  I don’t really know how a peach can be austere, but this shield cut is.  It has a nice medium light pastel color in decent sunlight that doesn’t blow it away with glare, but it soon desaturates into brown … Continue reading

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Ring size Yellow Green with great crystal.#963

  Now yellow green in tourmaline is not greatly prized.  In higher tone values it is probably one of the more common colors with tourmaline.  It might even rate right in there with medium light pinks for being everyday material.  … Continue reading

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Heavely included, long ratio, blue emerald cut.#962

    When I got this rough I knew that it was heavenly included, but it had wonderfully blue views down the c axis.  I cut a long ratio emerald cut out of it, because that was the only practical … Continue reading

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Blue Included cushion cut that is cuprian.#961

  This is an interesting stone.  I bought it after my supply of cuprian tourmaline had pretty much dried up.   I continued to buy the smaller more included cuprian material that became remained available, because I am always looking for … Continue reading

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Very Pale, but Peachy oval#960

  This very pale pastel is very clean and bright and has a color that is just a hint of something.  I am sure that some people would say the color drifts into pink, but it is not a pure … Continue reading

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Purple Oval of Copper Bearing Beauty#959

  I love this stone, I love purple in tourmaline, I love copper bearing tourmaline and I love getting a nice stone for a decent price. I consider this medium shade of purple to be only found in copper containing … Continue reading

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Bright Light Pink Shield Cut

  This shade of pink with a light tone level is common in tourmaline rough coming out of Africa now (2013).  It is also not noticeably dichroic and is eye clean.  The thing that I notice about this gemstone, that … Continue reading

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Golden Yellow Droplet

  This is a classic droplet of color and does show up well with the group.  It  would be a lot more in demand if it had a purer yellow.  Still its place is assured because it lacks any green … Continue reading

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Two Distinct Hues in a Green Oval

  Now I love the dynamic nature of hues (color) in many tourmaline, but it can make an effort to honestly present, in both photography and writing, its beauty.  Now this eye clean oval possesses two distinct colors that had … Continue reading

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Nice medium pink standard round brilliant.

  This is a pretty average stone for my collection.  It is a very nice bright even hot pink that is clean and weighs 2.28 carats.  It would be a droplet of color, if I really needed the color in … Continue reading

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Wow another pink emerald cut.

This very nice pink emerald cut has its tone level grade smoothly down the length of the gemstone.  The tone gradation,  without a  hue (color) shift could be caused  either by an increase in concentration of manganese in the darker … Continue reading

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Dravite long ratio emerald cut

  On the back of this box I have brown for the color of this beautiful emerald cut,   That certainly lacks the flickering fire of inspiration that is need to sell tourmaline.  We need a spice name for the long … Continue reading

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Large round spruce specially cut gemstone.

  Sometimes when you start out on a new adventure with a piece of tourmaline rough, the color is so outstanding that you cannot miss.  Now there is the other side of the coin and a completely water worn pebble … Continue reading

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Pale Pastel Orange Round

  This standard round brilliant is a good size at 5.05 carats.  It has an eye clean body and probably came from Nigeria.  I love Nigerian pastel tourmaline, especially pink, because the material is about the easiest one to polish … Continue reading

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Fine Orange Standard Round Brilliant#950

One of the reasons that I got back into faceting after a many year hiatus was my love of color.  I looked over the “new” world of the internet and decided that if I ever wanted to collect gemstones with … Continue reading

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Pink Purple Emerald cut nice tone#949

  This good sized ring stone at 3.68 carats is a fine bright, but sultry pink purple.  I see a couple of flecks deep in the stone by eye, but they are not detracting and the stone has a very … Continue reading

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Laurellite and a gray day in Mars.

My best Laurellite under florescent light. (5.69 carats) Small oval Laurellite under florescent light. (5.39 carats) Large oval Laurellite under florescent light. (27.13 carats)   I have a tray of stones home because I am writing posts about them.  This … Continue reading

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Fine middle of the road pink that keeps rolling#948

  You can pass over this gemstone in the collection, if you just lust for color,  but if you’re into pink, you have to stop.  The gemstone has a pure pink statement that flashes from great crystal and polish.    It  … Continue reading

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Moderately included Laurellite round#947

This round is more included than I like and is part of the collection because it is a color changer and a rare color,  I call it Laurellite. (see other post for more of the story of Laurellite.  It is … Continue reading

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baby blue and baby pink bi-color from Afghanistan#946

  When I received this semi- preformed piece of rough in the mail,  with other bi-colors from Afghanistan, I thought it was too go to be true.  It also had a decent price.   Now this rarely happens and it makes … Continue reading

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Big Oval Blue Purple that did not get away.#943

  Buying tourmaline rough over the inter net or even in person can be an adventure.   This large oval, at 27.13, carats is one of the larger gemstones in the collection.  It was cut from a piece of rough that … Continue reading

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Small Dravite droplet of color#940

  This little dravite is darkly toned and could be called a mahogany by some, like me.  It deserves a place in the droplet of color world at 1.30 carats.   It definitely likes a good light to be enjoyed.   … Continue reading

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nice bright green droplet of color#939

  I love to find a bit of green that had a nice open green color in the c axis direction because it gives you more latitude to make a beautiful stone.  This bit of green was too small and … Continue reading

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Stately emerald cut of defusing pink.#938

  When the rough for this beautiful tourmaline came in, it left no doubt about what kind of gemstone needed to be cut.  The whole gemstone is pink, but its tone grades from medium dark to a paler pastel as … Continue reading

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Large oval of the earth (color)#937

  This very nice, eye clean, larger oval with great crystal is in search of a name.  Older tourmaline lovers, that have been around a crystal/gem or two would call it dravite.   This is because dravite is a trade name … Continue reading

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Little Round Beauties#935

  The blue gemstone pictured above is an example of sort of a subset of “color droplets” (which consist of standard round brilliants in as many colors etc. that I can get).   I have quite a few of them and … Continue reading

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A large round green jester of a tourmaline#936

  When I received this piece of rough from Africa it was rather hard to believe.  For at least 7 years I only cut tourmaline anymore and this was presented as tourmaline or I would not have purchased it.  The … Continue reading

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BLUE tiny round to be enjoyed#935

  This tiny round standard brilliant has a hue (color), tone level and saturation that I dream about in a larger stone.  I have a number of them in the collection and they all come from Namibia.   The African … Continue reading

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Oval Pink with a wisper of Purple#934

  I am looking at this oval gem under morning light and seeing a pink that has some cast to its hue, but I can’t put my finger on it.  I look at the its box and I have written … Continue reading

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Blue tinted with Green Emerald Cut#933

  This 1.24 carat is a blue that is tinted with green.  A color that tends to float with more or less green depending on the lights in your life.  It is eye clean under the table of the emerald … Continue reading

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A Red/Pink oval that walks the line.#932

  I don’t think that the debate on the cut off between red and pink is as important with tourmaline as it is with corundum because of the expense that is associated with ruby verses pink sapphire, but is sill … Continue reading

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Blue/Green emerald open ends#931

  This rather pudgy emerald cut wins the day with open ends that are more greenish than the rather blue a/b color (typical).  The emerald cut permits you to see the different colors easily because it isolates the c axis … Continue reading

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Nice classic tourmaline green with dark ends.#930

  This 1.70 carat medium toned grass green emerald cut is a pure classic tourmaline.  It is eye clean as most material like this is and has the unfortunate dark ends that aren’t too bad in larger ratio gems like … Continue reading

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Hot Pink with Punch#929

  This ring sized oval, at 1.85 carats, really has a lot going for it.  Its pink is pure and of a good tone level, all set in a fine crisp body.  I use “hot” in the title to describe … Continue reading

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A Large, Really Green Round of Mistery#928

I have just spent a bit of time trying to orient this rich green gem with it c axis.  With a gemstone that weighs 19.54 carats and is distinctly dichroic, that should not be too difficult.  But perhaps I am … Continue reading

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Pink droplet of color#927

  I sometimes wonder where I got all the small pink rough, but here is a ..44 carat droplet that is pretty sharp.  Cutting this keeps me busy and gives me a break from the big boys.   Bruce

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A purple to blue called “Laurellite” by me.#926

  This smaller emerald cut is not pure and has somewhat muted colors, but is very exciting to me.  You have to work with lighting to appreciate the special place this unheated cuprian tourmaline from Mozambique holds in the world … Continue reading

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A temple of purity in the yellow world.#925

  Now cutting an emerald cut from an included piece of rough, that can not be completely clean up, is pushing your luck because any distracting flaws show up real well.  This 2.61 carat, great yellow emerald cut, was extracted … Continue reading

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Larger deep round of middle of the road pink#924

  I have not cut pink/red tourmaline from every location that it is available from, but I have worked at it.  My principle sources have been Mozambique, Afghanistan and Nigeria with just a touch of Brazil and various African locations, … Continue reading

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Achroic, a colorless call in tourmaline#923

Now you have to be careful when you’re evaluating color in a very pale gemstone, it can catch its apparent color from the world around it.  Now an emerald cut is a color cut, so thousands of facets and magnificent … Continue reading

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Nice middle of the road droplet of pink color#922

Medium hue, medium tone level and a medium saturation, leads to a standard round brilliant that is right down the middle of the road.  Still it would make a great little ring stone at 1.35 carats and sparkle under any … Continue reading

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Pink a classic color with an oval shape#921

  This good sized oval at 7.11 carats is eye clean and has great crystal (very transparent body).   Its pastel color and tone level is probably the most  common combination coming out of Africa at the moment (2013).  Medium pastel … Continue reading

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An underwater color in a small emerald cut.#920

  This small emerald cut at .44 carats swims around between the greens and blues.  I would say it is blue in natural light, which is the light I use to label a tourmaline with a color name.  That is … Continue reading

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Small green droplet of color, big color#919

Now green is a common color in tourmaline, but I am a lover of bright, well saturate color in any hue (color) so I like this small .26 droplet of color.  It comes to life in any light. Bruce  

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Average green droplet of color#916

  Every collection has its peaks and valleys and in the quest for color my collection is no different.  Still I take pride in thinking that even an average small standard round brilliant like  this .40 carat green pastel got … Continue reading

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Large ratio green emerald cut with dark ends#918

  This green emerald cut is longer than I would like with its narrow width.  I generally do not get much rough that is dark in the ends and the crystals are too short to be split into two or … Continue reading

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Smaller whiter round#917

    I probably shouldn’t spend much time on a color less .40 carat round standard brilliant, but I have been force to compare several Achroites while writing and this little gem is the whitest of the bunch.  Afghanistan has … Continue reading

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Achroite small round#915

  This small standard round brilliant probably came from Afghanistan.  It has a  rather flat crown and is simply without color.  It is not clean, but has not large naturals.  It came from the center of a crystal with a … Continue reading

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Smaller Golden Barion Cushion#914

  This 1.66 carat Barion Cushion is about as small as I make this style of cut. (pavilion a Graham design)  It was done to try and mix a golden c axis color with a purer yellow a/b axis color … Continue reading

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Red droplet of Color#913

  This darker red standard round brilliant appreciates a good light since its tone level is pretty high, like many reds.  I place it in with the droplets of color,  the large group of round tourmaline that is the best … Continue reading

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One Half Carat of Pure Rich Pink Joy#912

  I try and mix in smaller gemstones in between larger efforts.  It kind of relieves the tension of polishing facets that are large enough to both make polishing a physical effort, since I work on a stationary lap when … Continue reading

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Rolling round with yellow, a droplet of color.#911

  The brilliant round standard cut is weighs 1.84 carats and will make a wonderful droplet of color.  They like yellow in tourmaline almost as much as I do.   It appears to be eye clean.   At first I check … Continue reading

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Long red emerald cut makes good.#910

  This emerald cut surprised me when I removed it from the dop stick and got my first look at it.  It is a good size at 5.22 carats and with a ratio that is a bit larger than I … Continue reading

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Ring size round Pink#909

  This is a find ring stone at 2,57 carats.  It is a fine middle of the road pink with an excellent color and a medium tone value.  All rounds this small or smaller are cut as standard around brilliants.  … Continue reading

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Austere green green droplet of color#907

  This 1,26 carat bright standard brilliant round has just been declared a droplet of color.  It is an honor for a rather aloof and austere color in rich pastel blue green.  The color appears consistent, but doesn’t really invite … Continue reading

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Pretty Little Blue Green Emerald Cut#906

  Going down the tray this smaller gemstone does not grab you eye because of its size. but focus and you see a very nice gemstone.  I don’t think that it is perfectly clean like most tourmalines, but nothing really … Continue reading

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A yellow green, a good after dinner mint#905

  This tourmaline is ready to give you a color fake and head for the “in” zone of your heart.   It is not a Heliodor,  which is a variety of beryl and is probably the most common gemstone in … Continue reading

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An Orange that thinks it would be a peach of an idea to be a Pad.#904

  Now one of the reasons to spend time showing my collection is to let people see the beauty of tourmaline and for me, to get this “semi” precious gemstone some respect.  Now the color of this nice sized (4.29 … Continue reading

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Achroite round a ghostly gem#903

  Achroite is an old trade name for colorless tourmaline (Elbaite).  It is from the Greek, like many names, and it is a find name, but one I have had made relatively little use of.  Why you might ask.  Well … Continue reading

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A shifty Mauve thats in the Pink#902

  I don’t attach mauve to a gemstone’s color casually.  I always check color in various “white” lights,  incandescent, morning light and evening light etc. Many members of the tourmaline color world are not known for being consistent in shade,  … Continue reading

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Yellow Green with a brown cast, Large round#901

  Over the years that I have cut tourmaline, this is the only one that I purchased preformed (for greatness?).  When you’re trying to get the widest collection of color in tourmaline, you have to seek out exceptional pieces that … Continue reading

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Tourmaline tale, Birth of a beauty

The following tale was written years ago, when I tried to share the excitement of buying and cutting tourmaline with a friend.  I would like to share one of them with you now.   A TOURMALINE TALE OF SAD AND … Continue reading

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A trip to Mars (my little town)

  It is late spring and nestled in a valley surrounded by lush hills of maturing foliage is a borough called Mars.  It was probably named after an early settler (abbreviation of Marshall), but the town has sold the connection … Continue reading

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Harvest Completed for Pennsylvania Potatoes

The day held great promise as I drove down the dirt road to my uncles.  The farm sits high on a hill overlooking a valley that contains a stream called the Little Loyalsock. The area is called the endless mountains … Continue reading

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The Blues Brothers split up was rough

    Purchasing faceting rough over the inter net can call for tolerance, patience and most of all hope.  When a new set of pages comes on line out of Africa, I quickly look for the “different” tourmaline.  Color is … Continue reading

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Green Shield Cut rarer than you might think.

  Green in all its shades is one of the most common colors in the world of tourmaline.  Only pinks might compete with green as production shifts between locations during different years.  Yet there are very few nice green shield … Continue reading

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Afghan pink/blue pastels a broken embrace

    For a while I was able to deal with a source of tourmaline rough that had a direct connection for Afghanistan material.  I not only bought individual stones, as I usually do, but also a few lots.  The … Continue reading

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Duo-blue/green, A portrait of a star in the tourmaline heaven#942

    The rough for this exceptional gemstone came as an after thought with the most outstanding purple piece of tourmaline I have ever seen.  (the name Duo-blue/green coming from being one of two pieces in the lot) The purple … Continue reading

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Yellow’s chief defender, a very nice yellow shield cut

  The effort to fill out the color wheel with tourmaline in the pure yellow area has been an interesting quest.  Yellow green is one of the most common colors in tourmaline and is not particularly prized.    I have also … Continue reading

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Queen Ecru Different Cut

  This is one of my favorite gemstones.  She is big and bright with a different,subtle color that is not common.  I call the color ecru which is a term used with wool and can have many tone levels, because … Continue reading

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Uniquely oriented watermelon emerald cut

  This smaller emerald cut looks like it consists of bands of bluish green on either side of a pinker  band running the length of the emerald cut, where the ends have a much more intense pink color.  Except for … Continue reading

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Anyone for ice T, Almost colorless bi-color

    Very pale to moderately toned tourmaline is not rare from Afghanistan.  Much of the material is not flawless, but its “crystal quality” transparency is usually excellent.  The emerald cut was cut from the largest and cleanest piece of … Continue reading

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A Quick Rainbow with Droplets of Color

I was sitting at the computer and thinking about how to show off tourmaline in a simple post.  I decided to grab a rainbow of droplets of color.  I call small rounds that have no real claim to fame except … Continue reading

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An cuprian oval with mixed colors and a radioactive past

  In the quest to completely fill the color wheel with tourmaline examples, the hardest range of colors is blue/purple.  When Africa began to produce lavenders to purples that could be slipping into the blue purple range I really tried … Continue reading

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spruce cushion with step crown

  This cushion cut, which is a Barion, meet point design, partially developed by Mr. Graham, is one of the few more “modern” designs I use when cutting tourmaline.  I am a strong believer in simple traditional cuts and I … Continue reading

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Bi-color emerald cut with a secret

  I love this gemstone.  It has a lot going for it.  It is well over 5 carats and flawless.  The balance of the two colors in the emerald cut is good and the demarcation between the colors is crisp.  … Continue reading

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passionate plume, a red purple with a different twist

Very few of my tourmalines have actual picked up a name that stays with it very long, but this is an exception. It is a large stone. over 10 carats, with a high tone level that demanded that the stone … Continue reading

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