Slightly included, gorgeous, lavender round, that is cuprian.#271

Included round with a great medium toned lavender color. This lavender standard round brilliant is a very rare cuprian tourmaline . It has an inclusion that can not be seen face up and decent crystal. This makes for a bright flashy gemstone. It weighs 2.68 carats.

I don’t believe that this saturated (purity of color) a purple exists in tourmaline without  a copper component in its chemistry.  (I think it maybe possible with iron and manganese and I haven’t seen it all, so who knows for sure?)  It may have to wait to be answered until we can easily make synthetic tourmaline.

The first pieces I received of this color where paler, eye clean and had come from heating large redder darker pieces of rough from Mozambique.  They were not heated long enough to completely eliminate the red color factor from manganese, because without the higher oxidation stage of manganese, the pieces would usually turn a very pale blue.  One of the dealers from Africa actually showed a series of timed pictures of a large dark reddish pebble turning into a lighter purple.

I don’t know if the material for the posted round was partial heated or not, but I doubt it.  The lavender is richer and the crystal properties are not as good as the heated material.  Also there is a significant inclusion that is in the pavilion and away from the center of the gemstone. (I can not see it face up)  I also know that the material I removed from this beauty and its cousins, in an effort to clean them up, was definitely included.  This is one of the more successful cleanups that I have cut.

This round with a fine tone level and great rare lavender color weighs 2.68 precious carats.  I will never get to cut the likes of it again.  Even if it was found in quantity somewhere in the world, the demand for this new addition to the wonderful, colorful world of tourmaline is in such high enough demand that it will never be inexpensive again.  On top of that, this purple could be heat to become a paraiba type gemstone and if it held together, it would probably be a lot more valuable.  I don’t heat purples period.


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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