Liddicoatite rose sliding to orange rose, oval.#282

A larger oval that slides from oranger to pinker.  Liddicoatite  #282 This oval appears to be eye clean and is a slider from pinker to oranger. It is a Liddicoatite which a member of the tourmaline family of minerals. Its has a nice medium plus tone level and good flash. It weighs 12.46 carats.

This is one of the few tourmalines in the collection that I have had adequately tested, enough, to determine that is not Elbaite, but Liddicoatite.  Liddicoatite and Elbaite are very closely related species in the group of minerals we call tourmaline.  The only important difference between the two is Liddicoatite has calcium as its principle alkali metals component (in the x location) while Elbaite has sodium.  It is impossible to tell them apart by color or crystal shape.

That said, this larger oval is something of a loner by eye.  It has a great moderately dark tone value along with a great rose color in my yellowish light source.  Under different daylight conditions it kind of gets mixed up with orange.  I could even see a color shift effect from different, redder lights, in the office, which they put in to make us feel warmer.

The gemstone has great transparency and is not zoned at all.  That is an important point about zoning, because a great deal of Liddicoatite has strong color zoning and the name has become associated with the kind of tourmaline with many color areas.  This association is more for the selling of tourmaline than an accurate way to describe Liddicoatite.  Few pieces are actually tested, just like the trade came to judge brownish tourmaline, dravite, without chemical testing. (most brownish gem quality tourmaline is Elbaite).

This unique gemstone is both eye clean and bright for a larger darker stone.  It weighs 12.46 carats and was made deeper by the use of three wide steps on the crown.


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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