Little Round Beauties#935

Tiny BLUE tourmaline round This small standard round brilliant is from Namibia and weighs .21 carats. Color is the name of the game in such a small gemstone and this has a beautiful blue color.

 

The blue gemstone pictured above is an example of sort of a subset of “color droplets” (which consist of standard round brilliants in as many colors etc. that I can get).   I have quite a few of them and they all come from Namibia, so they deserve some separate space.

Blue without green in tourmaline is rare and any blue with a purple cast rarer still.  Many Indicolite, a trade name for blue tourmaline that is used too often with gems that are too greenish, are strongly dichroic and produce a darker gemstone.  The small pieces of Namibian rough that cut the example above are not bother by any weakness in the color or tone area.  They are some of the best blues in the world, but they do have physical problems.  The problems may come from being heated.  Generally I don’t think that tourmaline is heated if the surface of the rough is not ground.  Surface imperfections and heating tourmaline don’t go together and can lead to a high percentage of fractured rough.  But I know that Namibian blues a routinely heated in the rough state.  Well the last lot I got of the pretty little blues produce stones that fell apart and spontaneously fractured in a 5mm stone or smaller.  Not too common in rough that I have cut.

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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