This is a beautiful gemstone. The discovery and production,from a location in Mozambique of apple green rough, from which I recently cut (2012) this stone, appears to have had world wide repercussions. This is according to a recent article by a Thai gemstone establishment. The article when on to say that blue and red tourmaline were really hot in China, while green was not, until a new deposit of “Apple Green” tourmaline was discovered in Mozambique. Now even green tourmaline’s prices were moving up rapidly.
This makes me smile because my 9.36 carat example has been sitting safely in its storage box for some months. The cost of the rough had lead to quite a bit of consternation in my African dealers. One rejected the material as too expensive and bemoaned the state of affairs with rough from Africa, while the other dealer offered me a deal, before he purchased the material, and then proceeded to buy only smaller pieces of it for sale over the inter net. As it turned out, the nicely sized rough he purchased, did not sell well when placed before the public. This was despite offering the smaller pieces for significantly less per carat, than I paid for my larger piece of rough. This difference in cost per carat, based on the size of the rough, is not unusual, but the change in price per carat verse size was greater than usual. (I have read from other sources that the Chinese market is particularly interested in larger stones and this apple green material does benefit from being larger in size because of its lighter tone level.) To ice the cake, I even gotten negative feed back from an American cutter who sells over the internet, about not being able to sell tourmaline in the apple green color range. (and the crazy prices)
So why did I buy a thirty carat piece of apple green tourmaline, sight unseen and without any knowledge of whats happening in China. It is part of my game plan to continuously buy examples of every significant opportunity (and some that aren’t so significant) that I get for something beautiful in tourmaline. It has worked well for me in the past, but I have to admit that I don’t know what the future will hold. This is because it is getting much more expensive and more difficult, to develop good opportunities to purchase quality rough, to stay in the game. ( I told the dealer that I was buying the rough as a collector of beautiful tourmaline and not as a commercial undertaking)
To sum up the qualities of the posted oval. It is bright and appears to be eye clean with fine crystal. Its great medium tone level makes the apple green stand out and reminds me of sea foam except that this material is not noticeably dichroic. It does not appear to be brittle, but I did have a great deal of difficulty getting a great polish on the table, which I believe is cut perpendicular to the c axis, without marking. This personal bit of pain certainly does not effect the beauty of the fine gemstone, but it does limit my interest in any more material regardless of the price. This gemstone weighs 9.36 carats and does not have to be any bigger to exploit the full potential of this material ( in my opinion as usual).