I’m so in love with these: beautiful rose-cut pears in a variety of exciting stones. A while ago I had some 3x4mm rose cut sapphire pears, and they were really popular, but I struggled to replace them, as it’s always a bit difficult finding nice quality sapphire at a price-point that doesn’t make you choke on your morning tea. Then I had a brainwave: tanzanite! The same colour and effect but much more plentiful and at a price that won’t stick in your gullet. I mentioned it to a customer and she said, ‘oh, how about opal? How about rainbow moonstone?’ So I said good plan and went to my supplier who said, ‘Pink tourmaline! Green tourmaline!’ So now we have all of those things. The tourmaline is not going to hang around. I don’t have a lot of it and it’s clean. I’ve already sold a fair amount of it. The tanzanite, moonstone and opal I have plenty of. The opal is very, very powerful. I mean, not in a mystical way; the play of colour is super-strong. It’s white Ethiopian material, so the play-of-colour appears suspended in the stone. The rainbow moonstone is AA grade, so a few wisps and veils but excellent clarity and strong adularescence. The tanzanite is light blue/violet depending on the angle of view, the pleochroic little so-and-so. I’ve got light pink and dark pink tourmaline and it is stunning, and green tourmaline as well which is unusual and which never hangs around long in its rose-cut form. Prices start at $6.10 for a light pink tourmaline stone rising to $10 for a dark pink. Everything else is in between!
You can find them on the Hong Kong site here, and on the US site here.
Those of you who know me well know that I love tourmaline. Out of all gemstones, it is simply my runaway favourite, and I value it for its infinite variety; the colour range, the pleochroism, even the fantastic and fascinating inclusions. This is a fantastic 15.1mm round bluish-green tourmaline cabochon – yes it’s all the same stone in the slideshow above but what you are seeing is an example of that pleochroism I was referring to. Tourmaline is strongly pleochroic; that is to say that it absorbs different wavelengths of light depending on the direction of the rays. What that means in reality is that it will show different colours according to different viewing directions. You can see that in the stone above, which shows both green and blue colours, strongly. It’s an absolute beauty.
Now, tourmaline grows in an environment rich in liquids, which are often captured as inclusions during crystal growth. I wish I had a camera on my microscope as when I view this stone, I see a network of tiny thread-like cavities running all over the stone. They are really fascinating and beautiful. In fact, I think that the inclusions make this stone; a fingerprint of its creation. However, as with all of my stones, because I use a macro lens and the stones are magnified beyond their actual size, they always appear far more included in photographs than in reality.
Most blue and green tourmalines derive their colour from traces of iron, and they are sometimes known by the trade names of indicolite for blue and verdelite for green. Less common than pink stones, they are according more expensive and sought-after. This is a strongly saturated stone with open colour, and at 15.1mm round and 14 carats in weight, it is a substantial rock. It’s going to make a fantastic ring or centrepiece for a pendant, something like this one, below. I found it on 1st dibs, and it’s not credited to any known designer, but I love how they have called it a ‘dragon’s eye’, because that’s exactly what it looks like. I also hope it shows just how fantastically beautiful and effective a large, included stone can look. The stone in this piece is a whopping 39.5 carats and both more included and less saturated than my stone but it’s nonetheless an amazing piece.
Be inspired! And do it fast before temptation gets the better of me and I filter the stone into my personal collection! To view this fabulous stone, click here. It’s in my Hong Kong shop, but it ships internationally.
Alright, I admit it; when my older daughter went through her pink phase, which lasted for years I could not wait for it to end. But there is something about pink tourmaline which is simply irresistable, and I’ve just listed a whole new bunch of free-size cabochons and mixed cuts. These here are the mixed cuts; small to medium in size and a really gorgeous selection from pale petal pink through bubble-gum and and apricot to deep, vibrant fuchsia. Some of these absolutely glow. Not just pink either; I have a couple of really gorgeous yellows; a warm sunshine and sharp citrus as well as a couple of bluish-greens. I do adore tourmaline; it is my favourite stone, and one of the things I love is the colour range, so many different shades. Legend has it that this is because it travelled along a rainbow and picked up all of the different colours. It’s also supposed to inspire creativity. Whether or not you believe that, I can see any one of these pieces holding their own in a piece of jewellery and let me tell you, these stones appear pretty clean. One of the things I love about tourmaline is the pleochroism, and you can see that face-up in these two pears below: the apricot and the pink alternating as you turn the stones in the light.
Tourmaline is often rather included; growth tubes, liquid inclusions are common and frequently eye-visible. Generally the dominant value-factor is the colour, and with darker stones, this will mask the inclusions. I aim for accuracy and detail in my pictures, which show up every single speck – due to the macro lens and the fact that they are blown up several times past their actual size. This is good because it means that you can see exactly what you are getting but on the other hand be aware that a lot of these tiny inclusions are not easily obvious to the naked eye and do not impact lustre. Above are the pinks, but below, I also have these gorgeous yellows and greens, below. To shop all tourmaline mixed cuts, click here.
I’m really excited about this, mainly because I’ve never stocked it and in fact never see it. This is rose cut green tourmaline and it’s beautiful. Lovely clean material; really almost eye clean and therefore great lustre. The colour is a slightly bluish green but it’s a bit pleochroic, as tourmaline often is. I was just waxing lyrical a couple of days ago about tourmaline and its rainbow range and this is a perfect example. It’s also entirely the sort of thing you should snap up because I don’t think it’s going to hang around and I do think it is going to make for unique pieces. Prices are $3.50 for a 3mm and $8 for a 4mm, which is also fly-off-the-shelf pricing. Really I just want to sit here babbling ‘it’s lovely, it’s lovely’ whilst running it through my fingers. But I will restrain myself….do you get that I like this?! To shop 3mm click here; to shop 4mm click here. To shop all tourmaline cabochons, click here.