My secret place

It has been a challenge to keep posting descriptions of my collection’s stones as quickly as I can, while seeing the stones under a limited number of white light sources.  This is not to say that when I cut the stones and labeled the boxes, I did not do my color homework.  I walk the stones to see them under natural lighting conditions and show them to friends that are quizzed, etc. but times change and my focus on color does evolve.

In my search to see my stones under different conditions, I have become more dependent on the new twisted florescent light replacement for incandescent lighting.  It is generally not as powerful an enhancer of color as incandescent, but with an old yellowish lamp shade it is a reasonable replacement.  And so the tourmaline’s color dance between the natural light that changes with the time of observation and my new yellowish light.  Well I finally had enough of mixed light and stood up and put the gemstone in question up the barrel of the lampshade and looked directly down on top of the gemstones table.

The sight I saw was amazing.  It appeared that all the facets were lighted and the color of the stone was all focused in my eyes.  I put in a variety of tone values into the special place, just below the light source and they all did well.  I have not had such fun looking at the gemstones, since I saw them under an eastern morning light, that was being reflected off freshly fallen snow.  Now that was an amazing sight.

So if you have a collection of tourmaline that you want to have a great moment with, make your own special place.  It is easy to do and cheap.  I am not sure that it is anything more than a thrill, but it did me a lot of good. ( I would still use incandescent to show color change and shifting)  Might even help me keep working with tourmaline.



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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