Over 5 years ago I purchased a compact soilid state spectrometer. I tested all of my collection of tourmaline for copper and it was great fun. I found a significant number of cuprian tourmaline in my collection that I did not buy as cuprian. This was particularly true with yellow green tourmaline.
After finishing that round of investigation I traveled some with the instrument. It does not take long to set up and test gemstones. And the results are pretty easy to figure out. Well I wanted to do some color work with software supplied by the vendor. I was set back when the instrument turned out to be unstable and rather than just fix the electrical problem, I had the unit upgraded.
After a significant amount of money and two years, The spectrometer is ready to do color work and test for copper again. I am just waiting for my light source to be upgraded. I plan to post my data, graphs, on this site and explain what you are seeing to the best of my ability. I plan to run absortion curves for known cuprian tourmaline and the few hundred stones I have cut since the spectrometer was operational. I will also be posting color information, in graph form, for tourmaline of interest.
What do I hope to see? Well with the exceptional range of color in the collection I hope to see color that the labs do not see because of its rarity or low cost. Going further I hope to show that many Paraiba/paraiba type/cuprian tourmaline color is NOT unique to copper bearing tourmaline. In other words copper bearing tourmaline’s exceptioan appeal comes from its vividness and bright moderate saturation (glow like qualities) not from unique colors.
Please stop back and enjoy the quest that should start with in a few weeks.