The gem has IT, (It is not focused on tourmaline!)
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Author:  bruce_tourm [ Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  The gem has IT, (It is not focused on tourmaline!)

I have a confession to make, I am not just getting old, but I have made it. I have filled up my three children with tourmaline stuff to the point of abuse, but I still feel they will need help liquidating my collection after I am gone. One of the areas of need centers on the the quality of a gemstone. Does it have IT.

To try and appreciate the seductiveness of names like Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels, etc. I have been fighting threw a sea of small diamonds (and large) to focus on their colored gems, on the inter net. I certainly give them high marks for brief high energy clips of beautifully photographed gems/jewelry. An exception to this gloss is a series by Van Cleff & Arpels called Les Mains D'ore. It is a collection of interviews that unfold while the expert is working on a project.

The interview that touched me the most was labeled, Expert stone buyer. Here was a man making love to impressive gems after doing the same job for forty years. The job of looking for the best and then sometimes matching them into a set. He has sat by the same window threw the blue and red hours of the days, for all the years he has worked and never uses artificial light. (Someone else like me must be looking for the color change effect.) He felt that after the first decade or so of observation most people will agree with him if he decides the gemstone has IT, exceptional presence.

The sweet part of the story is his dependence on his refined gut feeling. The feeling you should get when the gem first comes out of the paper or off the dop stick, if the gem is truly exceptional. I hunger for that moment and it does not always come with a high price. I have been good, but I will digress into tourmaline a bit. One of the three stones I am thinking of has copper, but I loved it long before I knew about the copper. All three are significantly included so unless it is an emerald, Van Cleef would not be interested, which is their problem.

The first stone is a small emerald cut that came from a couple of water worn pebbles. It is not the largest I cut from the rough and its vivid yellow is on the light side because of its size. Still it grabs my eye and tantalizes all the right spots. Its number is 1848 on my site

The second is a small shield cut with the perfect pink. The pink is not even uniform threw out its small body. Still its perfect vivid pink lead me to believe there was something more than manganese as a chromophore in it. Yet when I had it tested it is a pure manganese color. Its number on my site is 186.

The third stone that I have posted on before is a yellowish green round. It is not a color unique to cuprian tourmaline, but its vivid nature kept me wondering why it was different. My spectrometer nailed it for copper, but the finding did not change my feelings for it. (The price did go up because I have been told that its color falls into the range of colors accepted by the GIA as paraiba type.) I did not pay a lot for the rough, before copper was discovered in Mozambique, because it was visibly included. Its number on my site is 148.

I guess if you are doing business you have to go by the numbers, but if you are a lover of gems you should go by your feelings. The top jewelry houses seem to have more to sell you, if you want that feeling, than status.


I have many more tourmaline tidbits on my site and any tourmaline there with a description of GEM is a winner.

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