Today I sat down with some trays of tourmaline and access to a gemstone color matching system. The system certain showed that a great deal of work had been done to present color in different cuts, tones, saturation besides just hues/colors. And it certainly helped me get some of my purples reds and greens etc. in the right color category, but I had some problems. While looking at the pastel side of the system, I had much more difficulty matching stones to the system’s presentation, than richly colored tourmaline. Most of the columns that varied in tone only just looked like they got darker without any color in any of the depicted gemstones.
I think that part of my problem revolves around the lack of color calibration and correction for my inexpensive flat screen monitor. Sometime ago I looked at the exclusive collection of broad hue and high saturation liquid crystal monitor’s. The top of the line used individual LED’s of different colors behind the appropriate liquid crystal cell to enhance the vividness of the liquid crystal display in an attempt to match the extreme light properties of items like gemstones. The monitor produced so much heat that it had to have cooling fins on it. All this was interesting, but the real bottom line was the price which precluded my going forward with an effort to record the “true” color of my tourmaline and print it out.
I did spend my money on a solid state spectrometer as I have mentioned before. I have it up and going with a new light source and I hope to get some reasonable data soon. I am much more inclined to let the instrument analyzed the stones color and define it in the CIE color world with a vector and an appropriate hue angle than use my old yellowish eyes to see my beautiful tourmaline’s true color. I am just no match for that kind of work with color and tone etc.