Collection pretty much back together again after GIA trip.

I have just finished putting the collection back together after fifty of the stones were kept by the GIA for photographing. It is hoped that they will be included in a future spread in Gems and Gemology on the beauty of tourmaline and yours truly. The whole trip was an effort well worth it. I was able to meet some people that might be able to help spread the word about tourmaline’s beauty and I don’t just mean the excessive hype associated with cuprian/Paraiba tourmaline. My finest examples of cuprian tourmaline from Mozambique were very well received at the GIA. Their beauty is derived principally from copper and some of them resemble Paraiba material, but they don’t need to be associated with the hype of Paraiba to be beautiful. They have qualities, such as high clarity, larger size and color that frankly were rarely if ever displayed by material from Paraiba. (Paraiba did have a wide range of color, but most of it was heated to produce a limited range of blues.) They are not rip-offs nor should they be advertised or sold as anything else, but what they are. I try to keep my perspective when confronted with the prices requested for any cuprian/Paraiba tourmaline. My abiding hope is that the beauty of quality cuprian tourmaline from anywhere will support those high prices, but I fear that lower grades of cuprian/Paraiba tourmaline are not worth the price. Frankly you will not see any difference between the lower grades and tourmaline colored by other more common chromophores such as iron. I have seen it with my own eyes.


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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