A special pink from Mozambique, cuprian.#49

An eye clean, with great crystal, medium pink, deep round. Cuprian This round with horizontally split mains is eye clean and with fine crystal. Its color is a very nice, but not particularly hot, pink. It is cuprian and comes from Mozambique. It weighs 18.68 carats.

The story you are about to hear is true and no names  will be mention to protect the innocent if there are any.

I had just purchased one of the most important pieces of rough I will ever be blessed to get.  It eventual was cut into a deep purple that is #291 and described, or will be, in some detail in other posts.  The rough weighed 40 carats and it was a very well water worn pebble.  I wanted a special cut for such a magnificent piece of rough with a color that I had never seen before in tourmaline.

I discussed it with my dealer/friend out of California, who is a much better cutter than I ever will be and is experience with custom designing cuts on the computer.  While we were bouncing ideas about which cutting pattern to use, I sent an email to Africa to try and purchase a piece of good quality tourmaline rough that would be big enough and well shaped to make a round, to  cut as a trial piece before I cut the purple.

Well after I went very conservative and decided to use a 10 main horizontally split main cut with the purple, I got so worked up, that I had to cut it now.  The cut had been debated for some weeks.  When a very nice piece of pink rough showed up sometime later, I was pleased to pay the most reasonable price requested for it.  It was another water worn pebble and the price was right because it was suppose to have a needle right in the middle of it.  To this day I have never seen the needle and I have looked for it closely even after I cut the gemstone in an eight main horizontally split main cut, on its pavilion.  This is most exceptional, but the story doesn’t end there.

So now I have a deep round, because of the horizontally split mains on the pavilion, that is eye clean with fine crystal.  It even has a very nice, but not particularly hot, pink hue.  And it was sitting in its storage box, when it came time to test all my tourmaline, with my new spectrometer, for copper.  And the 18.68 carat gems showed indications of having copper.  Now my spectrometer does not have the necessary range into the infrared to definitely determine that it is cuprian in a red/pink tourmaline, but I am not done yet.  I spent a day working with a professor and his a more inclusive spectrometer.  We had time to test a couple of my tourmalines, and this was one of my choices to see if it had copper.  AND it was confirmed, this pink gemstone with the invisible tube down the middle, that was cut after the purple, that it was suppose to be a trial cut for, was cuprian.  Now the stories done and the day was won.


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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