Finally a bit of golden orange tourmaline from the holiday season.

When I still worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I would work diligently on a nice piece of rough tourmaline over the holidays.  It would help me get threw them without my family.  Now that I have been retired for over seven years, I have plenty of time year around, but very little tourmaline to cut.  The market for interesting tourmaline continues to be very poor.  Still I did work on a little golden emerald cut with flashes of orange.  A friend sent me the rough and it had been sawed.  The most unusual feature of the rough was that I could develop a longer ratio emerald cut with its table perpendicular to the c axis.  This lets both the dichroic colors mix together and gives a richer uniform color to the gemstone.  I don’t think that it is the species Dravite because it gave me absolutely no problems polishing and I don’t think that it is a “sunset” tourmaline, because it did not try and fall apart on me.  It did have a couple of flaws that reduced my yield, but I have come to expect that in even AAA graded material.  I try very hard to eliminate any flaws the extend into the body of the tourmaline from the surface, because they can be a threat to the integrity of the finished gemstone when it is set or cleaned.

I just finished walking the 1.05 carat emerald cut on one of the first sunny days that we have had in a while.  It is certainly flashy and in a color that is very different than most tourmalines.  The dominant reddish side of yellow shapes the color of this gemstone and prevents even a hint of green that washes over so many blue and yellow tourmaline.  No brownish overtones to force me to call this little beauty a dravite. (I have been informed that much of the desaturated brown tones in the dravite gem variety are caused by titanium not iron.)

I hope that we all have a fine new year with a bit of tourmaline color in it.




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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1 Response to Finally a bit of golden orange tourmaline from the holiday season.

  1. cbass says:

    I just a post to an old post site 2012. I did not know there is also a recent post page.
    Anyway my uncle left me many gemstones when he passed. Since I am not a gem collector I would like to get some info on a 48 ct color change tourmaline. It turns purple on cloudy days to orange redish on bright sunny days. My uncle purchased it while on one of his six world wide gem ” safari’s” from a trusted source. It’s highly
    dichroic and its SG is 2.99.
    Since I am not a gem collector I would like to know more about it and eventually sell it at wholesale but do not now how or where to do so.
    Anyone that’s part of the Bruce Fry World Wide Nation that can help me would be most appreciated. I am happy to send pictures but don’t see a way to do it via this post site.


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