An Included Little Violet Cuprian Oval

small included violet cuprian oval This modest gemstone's claim to fame is a touch of purple, in the pastel pink, that comes from copper. It is bright, but included and weighs .70 carats.

The story of copper and tourmaline is fascinating to me.   Research indicated that copper acted as a chromophore (coloring agent) in tourmaline predated the discovery of commercial copper bearing tourmaline in Paraiba Brazil by many years.  But it certainly was Paraiba that put the glory of cuprian tourmaline on the map.   Paraiba produced many colors of tourmaline, but the only color that was truly valued was the cyan blue (windex) so many if not most of the Paraiba was heated to try and get that color.  A lot of the heating was done to remove the reddish tone from the cyan blue and so the purples were destroyed.

I am not a heater and the collection is focused on the spectrum of natural colors, so the purples are safe with me.  I have also found that copper and manganese produce in tourmaline exceptional purples, that I have not been able to find from any other chromophores.  I have even found blue purples with cuprian, that fill the largest void in my color wheel of tourmaline.

Now this little tourmaline pastel violet probably does not have very much copper in it (I discovered that it contained copper by using my spectrometer).  But the touch of purple gives a bit of a different hue (color) than the pink that it would be without copper.   Color difference gets her a spot in the collection.  She is bright, but included and weighs .70 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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