When I started faceting again after a long hiatus, one of the colors I wanted very much was bluish purples. I could get purples as shades of pink and red, but to go to the blue side was unattainable. Then I began to get purples in from Africa that were a very nice lavender and I took heart that I would see a purple blue. Then my principle dealer in Africa emailed that he had heard of a “neon” purple nodule of about forty carats that was for sale. He had not seen the piece, but he had said that it was too expensive to the people, talking about it. I emailed back immediately that if it truly was a neon blue purple and eye clean, I wanted it. Well within a month it was in my hands. It took me a long time to decide how I would handle the the cutting, but finally I sat down and proceeded to make one of the most fantastic gemstones I was ever privilege to cut. I will be posting more about the in and outs of the cuprian tourmaline deposit of Mozambique which will include more information about this purple, later.
The large round that I proceeded to cut from the 40 carat completely frosted water worn pebble had twelve horizontally split mains for a pavilion and a high crown of twelve mains. I obtained a forty one percent yield from the rough, which is quite exceptional. The only part of the faceting that gave me problems was the table, which is rather expected with such a large stone. The final gemstone has some zoning of bluer areas and more purple areas, that can only be seen from the pavilion. I don’t think that it is dichroic and that property of tourmaline, certainly did not factor into cutting it. The rough did have some disseminated small dark islands that I could make out with my loop, but they can not be seen by eye in the finish gemstones.
So summing up this museum grade gemstone. It has an amethyst like color that is really too blue to be amethyst. Still any other gemstone, that would be this color and size, would be extremely rare, so people think of amethyst when they first see it. It has a medium dark tone value that has a fine batch of flash for such a big darker stone. (I certainly would not want the stone to be any darker). Its fine crystal is not noticeably effected by the dark non-reflective islands of inclusions that are still in the gemstone. It weighs 16.66 carats.
I feel very lucky to have been able to cut this gemstone and have it in the collection. When I see it under the bluer moments of natural daylight, its color can really move me. I believe that tourmaline has never been discovered with such a saturated purple, before the discovery of copper bearing tourmaline in Mozambique. I have not made a big deal out of this stone’s cuprian content, even though it does effect its price, because I don’t even want to think about heating this fantastic bluish purple gemstone to a cyan paraiba type gem.