A treasured pink of great visual impact, emerald cut. Afghanistan#197

Strawberry, an exceptional pink tourmaline from Afghanistan, emerald cut.  #197 This outstanding, medium plus tone level, pink is called strawberry in Afghanistan. Its well saturated color is excellent, but its feathers/ crystal quality place it in the emerald group, for inclusions. It weighs 4.39 carats.

She and her family are known wide and far in Afghanistan and their given name is strawberry.  When I heard of this exceptional, saturated pink from Afghanistan, that was found in large crystals that were always included and had to be sawed into pieces suitable for faceting, I had to try and get an example.   Fortunately, my direct connection for material from Afghanistan, threw the internet, could let me have one piece.  When it arrive, I carefully check the sawed block of practically medium dark, overwhelmingly pink, tourmaline for its hidden flaws.  They weren’t really hidden, for most of them were residuals left on the surface of the rough, after having the flaws cut out with a diamond saw.  As I turned the piece of rough, which had practically been preformed for an emerald cut or similar deep rectangular cut, I was seeing the surface flaws and wondering if I would be able to get a stone with decent cleanliness out of the rough.  Then I turned it again and the vision of the final emerald cut jump out at me.  It wasn’t pure, but it was good enough and the color, tone level and saturation was going to make it great.  This orientation would also not give me the biggest sized emerald cut, but that was not that important in my collectors eyes.

The emerald cut that came out of the block of pink is spectacular.  It has an ideal tone level of medium plus, for a saturated pink that is too powerful to be simply called hot.  It has no major feathers, but I see wispy feathers, like the clouds that signal the coming of a cold front under, the table.  They are mostly overwhelmed by the gemstones restrained flash and tone value.  Yes this beautiful gemstone does have a poorer quality of flash than most tourmalines and this does restrain its ability to reflect light.  I would compare to the look of a fine quality emerald, and it gives the gemstone a rather more substantial rather than eye candy quality.   It weighs 4.39 carats.


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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