After just finishing a real nice vivid yellow oval tourmaline of about 1 carat the cutting of a smaller pale green standard round brilliant does not get the audience excited. (I really live alone and the audience is my an assortment of imaginary friends.) The rough was not expensive since it was pretty included, but I did a brilliant job of preforming and it was going to be a nice addition to the collection. The cutting went normally and I polished the mains without too much difficulty. Then I hit the breaks and I thought I was working on the c axis. I had cut the preform with the table at 45 degrees to the principle axis. It is a very nice way to cut some tourmaline when they either have no visible dichroism or you want to mix the colors. In this case it was just a natural way to go with the rough. Well the facets began to crumble. Even when I was being good and not pushing, deep marks appeared. I was thinking about writing how difficult some tourmaline can be and this despite the very low level of tone, when it dawn on me that the stone was obviously NOT a tourmaline.
I have not had the gemstone tested for IR, but I am sure that the pale piece is beryl. I have had problems with this mix up ever since tourmaline has arrived as an “expensive” gemstone. So I put the gemstone away for a time in the future, when I might go back to the old ways and easily polish it off. For now it is back into the tourmaline fray.