Tourmaline rough, higher price, but more normal supply.

If you have been reading some of my more recent posts, you will know that I am quite negative about the supply of interesting tourmaline rough in the market today.  And the little that is available is quite expensive by historic standards.  Well I recently received an email from Africa and things are looking up.  Connections are being reestablished and while rough is still higher priced, there is a more normal supply of material.  Still my principle dealer is only getting back in the game on a limited scale.  And the other African dealer, I have bought from for years, is concerned about buying larger more expensive material because he is unsure that he has a resale market for it.

Tourmaline has certainly been “discovered” and even if a larger supply of rough appears on the market.  We can always hope for a “big” find.  It does happen with tourmaline.  Tourmaline will never be the “bargain” it was before the discovery of Paraiba like tourmaline in Mozambique and China’s increase in wealth and interest in tourmaline.  I miss the old days, but at least I maybe able to get a fix for my color addiction and have a little fun with the only gemstone I care about anymore.




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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