My little emeralds (tourmaline), no, not chrome this time.

I just finished two beautiful green tourmaline, one shield cut and the other a standard round brilliant.  (12/11/2013) that are different enough to build a post.  Each gem was cut from a different alluvial pebble that had significant inclusions.  The most outstanding color in each of them was a pool blue green a/b axis color that is spectacular, but could not be the main color of the cut gemstones because of the shape of the rough.  Fortunately their c axis color was a fine, completely open, richer green color.  This is certainly a nice c axis color, but it really didn’t have IT.  Still, could the magic of brilliant tourmaline color come forward with the mixing of the a/b and c axis color in a well cut gemstone?  Ah, the adventure of tourmaline color.

The extensive amount of radial flaws on one alluvial pebble disappeared, while the other pebble’s flaws, that completely broke the crystal long ago were limited to being close to the old water worn surfaces.  Still the gemstone would be included, but with a fine medium plus tone level I know that they would have little impact on the gemstones.  I had to cut up both pebbles because the thickness of the rough was now too thin to make single gemstones out of either pebble.  I also think that the resulting gemstones would have been too dark in such big stones.  I did have some marking and chipping with the shield cut, but both gemstones polished up beautifully.

So what is the color of these to two bright new stars in the tourmaline heaven.  Well the outstanding a/b color is submerged into the c color, but I don’t think that it is completely lost.  This is because the stone’s face up color is now a bright saturated green that has higher chroma than most tourmaline.  Rather like a fine quality chrome tourmaline without its sometimes darker values.  Still the stones show is limited to mostly decent levels of artificial light, (I don’t just mean incandescent) because they go rather dull in the gray diffused natural light we get during the winter.  But for that special piece of jewelery, for the bright Christmas lights, these little (two to three carats) emerald green stars would perform brilliantly.


Pictures to follow.

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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