Natural Beauties, a new direction that has been coming for sometime.

Large flawless pieces of colorful tourmaline are wonderful to cut and produce beautiful gemstones.  So I have certainly not sworn off my addition to such beauties.  But as the market has evolved, high quality tourmaline rough has basically become unavailable to the custom cuter except when it is purchased at excessive cost.

Now the trade has decided that you can call flaws “naturals” and emerald can get special treatment with its fancy French garden of naturals, so why not tourmaline?  Well I think that tourmaline should spark a wave of beautiful colored well faceted gemstones that contain numerous naturals, but still have great beauty (its own garden).  To get a nice gemstone from a marginal piece of rough can be a lot of work.  The yeild is seldom very good, but with the “right” color it can be worth the challenge.

For now the “right” color is cuprian/Paraiba/paraiba like and paraiba type.  Excessive amounts of undisclosed clarity enhancing is going on and the cut stones are still getting good prices.  I love some of the cuprian colors, particularly the purples that basically do not exist in anything except cuprian tourmaline, but not all of them are exceptional or particularly attractive.  So lets gather the beauty we can from copper and look for fine examples of any tourmaline that can be worked with, to produce a beautiful stone without clarity enhancement.  That is were I am going.  It is not as easy as cutting clean stones, nor as profitable, but I can keep cutting and working with beauty.

I will add some pictures as soon as I can, but the common denominator of the stones will be the lack objectionable”naturals”.   And I think that the color will be worth seeing.  One recent one is a medium toned oval that completely changes from pink to orange.  It is not really appreciated in the trade, but its hue angle certainly goes beyond the 20 per cent that we are using to define color changes.  And the oval that I am just finishing is going to be a great medium toned blue.  The type of indicolite that would be unfordable if flawless, today.


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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