Vivid yellow green color wins over the flaws.

I am sitting here trying to put my thoughts together about an oval gemstone I just finishing cutting.  I have worked in wool for many years and most people come to realize that if you just pick out the bright skeins that catch your eye to work with, the result is going to be excessively gaudy.  Well when a lot of mixed tourmaline rough is pour out on the table and one piece immediately catches your eye , jump on it.  I bet it will the most included in the bunch, but a bright vivid color should still grab you.

The piece of rough I just finished has a low enough tone level that you don’t have to play with the lights to see its color.  It is dichroic, but both the yellow green and the bluer green are very transparent.  This is beginning to sound a lot like sea foam from Afghanistan/Pakistan, but I think this rough has more of a peridot feel to it.  It has a vivid colors even if its tone level is a bit shy of medium.  And following my previous prognostication,  a cluster of iron stained growth tubes that demanded the splitting of the piece of rough.  On closer inspection, the piece turned out to be something of a bi color and to be full of light feathers  and assorted scatter, that seems to indicate that it did not have a good crystal structure.  Still it had vivid color and had to be cut.

The centering and doping went well, but there was a lingering coarse growth tube that still tagged along on one end of the preform.  I started cutting a normal oval of moderate depth, but as I refined its size by removing flawed material, it became obvious that I had too much depth for a regular oval.   So I recut the preform into super nova pavilion.  Everything looked set for a deep pavilion and a moderate crown when a single rusty growth tube again refused to leave.  Well that wouldn’t do and I set out to reduce the stones circumference just enough to get rid of the distracting flaw.

After a significant amount to touchy cutting, I think the tube will not effect the beauty of the finished stone.   It really is too close to call, but I am feed up with loosing more of my stone to a bit of rusty brown that is situated on one end of the oval.  The cutting goes well and the tourmaline polishes wonderfully.  After transferring the stone and grinding a preliminary round of girdle facets, (The crown will now be a high stepped one) I am still faced with a brown dot of rust.  I like to leave fairly thick girdles, especially on included stones and this stone will definitely be included.  But I take out my sacred 3,000 finishing lap that is almost completely consumed and go after the rusty brown hole.  Finally it is gone and with little girdle to spare. (There is a bit of a hole, but it is not objectionable at the end of the included oval.

I push to finish the gemstone, as if I have plenty of rough to cut, because I know I have a beauty on the line.  Lunch can wait and the cat has already been petted enough for the day.  And the deep oval is finished without any of the inclusion really disturbing the surface.  With the eye distracted by a multitude of bright, flat, flashing facets on the deep stone’s pavilion the beauty of the stones isn’t bothered by the faint remaining feathers.  As I rotate the stone, I can see some of the light color of the weaker part of the bi color and a bit of bluer dichroic color on the edge of the oval, but mainly I see bright vivid yellow green.

I am very pleased, with this effort that only weighs about 1 and half 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.
This entry was posted in Introduction. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.