I just got back from a trip to Okinawa to see my daughter and my new grandson. On my return trip I had a layover in the Tokyo airport that was long enough to look around. So I popped into some upscale jewelery stores. I had heard that the Japanese LOVE colored gemstones and I had fought them for yellow and cyan colored rough on my way to cutting my collection.
Well I have to say I was disappointed. Most of the space in the stores catered to watches that I consider a rather dated form of jewelery. On top of that, most of the jewelery consisted of smooth, rather asymmetric pieces of gold etc. Some of them had small smoothly shaped and polished gem pieces, but very few faceted gemstones outside of diamonds. The only larger faceted stones I saw were a decent quality of amethyst. I did see some semi mounts that would be ready for decent sized faceted gemstones. More important than anything else, I did not see any tourmaline even in smaller sizes. The only pink I saw was sapphire. I guess I will have to go to China next time to see where the worship of tourmaline has really bloomed.
I am certainly not finding any rough worth the high price, in the investment of time and resources, I would need to spend to really add to the collection. I am cutting small pieces to keep my fingers in the work.