This small round looks orange enough to make juice.#613

Champion orange of my dreams, droplet of color  #613 Not a large standard round brilliant and more oranges have rolled threw, but this really flashy, bright clean orange was the first and still the best orange droplet of color. It weighs .77 carats.

Early on in my quest for all the colors of tourmaline I could get, orange was close to the top of my list of wants.  I hadn’t come up with a steady date with any dealers and I was new at surfing the internet.  I found a dealer in the USA that had both high quality material and high prices.  I found out later that this tends to be the relationship in facet rough.  I got some sapphire on consignment and that went well so I inquired about orange tourmaline.  He had two pieces left from Nigeria that he had gotten years ago, most of his material had been in his hands for awhile, I think.  One was over 20 carats and beyond my means and interest at the time.  The other one was about a gram (5 carats).  The gram has been used as a measure of faceting rough for many years.  I paid the piper and he sent me one of the strangest looking pieces of rough I have ever received.  It really was a thicker shard that had been broken on both sides with conchoidal fractures.  One end was absolutely colorless, but the other thicker end was a great pure orange.  I didn’t cut it for month’s because I really did not know what to do with it.  Finally I took the hit and ground off what could not be saved, which included all the colorless part and made a small round.  The yield was terrible, but I had my orange.  As you have seen I have gone far beyond small oranges, but none are better than this gem.

The posted standard round brilliant is bright, appears eye clean and is one of three droplets of color trying for the top spot in the orange contest.  They are all really great oranges, the type, without brown, that I hope for from the beginning of the quest for color in tourmaline.  And this one has been declared the champion with a balance of size, color, clarity and flash.  Congratulations you have come a long way for one who weighs only .77 carats.




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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