The Blues Brothers split up was rough


The round Bllues Brother Very nice standard round blue with a touch of gray. Part of a pair cut from one piece of rough.


The oval Blues Brother A very nice oval blue tourmaline with a touch of gray. One of a pair cut from the same piece of rough.

Purchasing faceting rough over the inter net can call for tolerance, patience and most of all hope.  When a new set of pages comes on line out of Africa, I quickly look for the “different” tourmaline.  Color is my first priority and when a color is in demand you have to move fast to get a chance at winning the rough.  The rough (out of two pieces available) from which these two stones above,were cut, was featured prominently in the first row of the first page and did not come cheap.  Still the blue, which is always in demand, had a different color cast (a touch of gray) to me.  I did not see any green and their tone level was better than most indicolite.  I immediately put in my order for the larger piece of rough, with a back up of the smaller piece of rough.  I got the smaller piece which I found out later probably had the better blue color.   I never get all my first choices and after a few rounds of refinement, the order is finally finished.  Now the patience comes in to play as a couple of weeks slip by.

When I rip apart the tightly tapped shipping bag and dig threw the plastic bags inside I am running on hope.  With the Blues Brothers, I was pleased with the color and tone level, especially since they displayed very little to no dichroism, but the preparation work on the rough made me laugh.  I could see on the web pages that the rough had been heavily ground, but not the deep groves that someone had put in the other side of the rough, in an attempt to remove flaws.  The rough had been rated AAA, which means that I should be able to get a single flawless gem out of the rough with a decent yield.  With the deep groves the rating lost a good deal of meaning and it turned out to be impossible to keep the Blues Brothers together.  If the groves had not been ground, I could have potentially accepted a slight flaw and a larger single stone.  I have done it many times.  Now the tolerance comes in and the rough is less than hoped for, but still very nice.  No return is made and the work begins.  The boys were well behaved and shine above.  They are a bit different and have a nice medium size which helps their story live on.








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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