Great Orange Round with a Flaw#1096


Orange Round with a single Inclusion This fine orange standard round brilliant has a significant inclusion toward the edge of the stone. The rest of the gem is eye clean with good crystal. It weighs 2.97 carats.

In the world of cutting quality tourmaline rough, dealing with flaws is very important.  Of course any adjustments for flaws is tightly dependent on retaining material for a decent yield and optimizing the color potential of the rough.

I may have started out working toward flawless tourmaline gemstones, but I certainly gave up that goal, as I sought out more and more colors for the collection.  It was not only impractical to go flawless, but not necessary.  You can cut bright, beautiful gemstone while retaining significant flaws with tourmaline.  And I am not talking just about tourmalines that have such a high tone level that their color can make flaws harder to see.  Though delicate pastels certainly need a fine cut with a good scintillating flash to help keep the eye from focusing too much on the imperfections.

With this posted gem, I left a significant opaque white flaw about one third of the way up on one of the crowns mains.  The rest of the gemstone is completely eye clean and of fine crystal.  I am not pretending that I worked to position the flaw under a main, because I didn’t , but the retention of the flaw close to the girdle was deliberate.  So, I have freely admit that once I can get a flaw out from under a table, I take greater liberties with it.  In this case the flaw does not flash, is not a threat to the integrity of the stone and would probably be covered by a prong if it was ever set. I also retained a much larger amount of weight, had a better tone value in a gemstone with a rare tourmaline color.  One final point in regards to this flaw.  If I had cut the gemstone’s diameter down somewhat without removing the flaw completely, it might have made the flaw less visible, but it would have endangered the integrity of the gemstones girdle.  When I added up all these factors it really was a “no brainer” to retain the flaw.

In the end it was my value, judgment call and I think the end product of my effort, a great standard round brilliant tourmaline of bright orange that weighs 2.97 carats is a testament to my efforts.  The rest of what I went threw to get there is history, and a forgotten history at that.


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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