A job well done in ways that will never be seen.

I just finished a standard round brilliant that is about 8 mm in diameter.  It is a very nice bright pastel blue with an even field of inclusions.  The gemstone has good crystal, polished beautifully with no imperfections in the table’s finish and is an all around pleasant gemstone.

My contentment with gemstone did not come easily from the rough that I purchased.  I personally think that my principle dealer out of Africa wouldn’t have even carried this low grade of rough before rough tourmaline of quality, just about disappeared from the market.  Or at least got very expensive.

The piece of rough did have crystal faces  and the c axis ends were pretty well crunched.  The crystal did not have a skin, but its surface was full of deep steps that had to be ground out.

After removing what had to be removed, the first step in my preforming the rough, I was encouraged by areas of the pale crystal that had only a uniform network of inclusions.  I could see a path to eliminate the worst of the feathers and flaws.  And low and behold the path worked.

You will never know why I am proud of this rather modest round. But I fought hard for what I got and it always pleases me when I have success, in what I can do, regardless of the inherent limitations of the finished gemstone.

I also have a good story about how I finished this gemstones table.  My older daughter call just as I had oriented the table for its final effort.  Now tables have their own dynamics and a gemstone that polishes well on every other facet, can reek havoc on polishing.  Well the call went on a pretty long time and I began to polish the table as I talked.  I couldn’t look at the polish without interrupting the call and I just kept moving the gemstone.  (I polish on a stationary lap).  Well when we finally said good bye, I checked the table and it was flawlessly polished.  I had ground down the gemstone quite a bit to get a stable base for the table and the polish had not caused any of the inclusions to fail.  Wow.

Again you will never see the whole story in the finished gemstone (the yeild was low as usual with included rough) but I will remember this one and be proud.  The part you will see is as good as that piece of rather forlorn tourmaline rough can make.  (A bright evenly included gemstone without obnoxious flaws and a clean pastel blue color)



About Bruce Fry

I was born in Summit, NJ in 1947 and graduated from Summit High School in 1966. I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1970 and after spending another year in graduate school, I left to see the world of Brazil. After spending some more time discovering myself, I ended up working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 32 years as an Air Quality Engineer in the Department of Environmental Protection. I retired in 2007 and took up faceting gemstones again after a long hiatus that reached back to my twenties. I had started cutting cabochons when I was 13 and bought my first faceting machine when I was 15, but ran out of money and time until I retired. My great love in gemology is tourmaline and the collection presented here represents my effort to get as much beauty and variety in the colors of tourmaline as I can. I was particularly lucky in being able to get unheated cuprian tourmaline before copper was discovered in gem grade tourmaline from Mozambique.
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