Perfect pears

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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.

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Pink does not stink, part 1

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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.

From left, clockwise, I love the heavy and sinuous lines of Cassandra Goads ‘Deux Poires’ Pink tourmaline and gold ring. The gold perfectly draws out the warm pink tones and I love the weight of it. To the right above is Luxury by Design’s green tourmaline, silver and gold ring. This is a classic long and thin tourmaline crystal and love that the band is as wide as the crystal is long – a full 12mm meaning that this is one chunky ring! And finally, I’ve written about Stone Fever Jewelry before, as I love the tactile texturing of the metal. If I had one of his rings, I’d be touching it all day long. Below right is another warm gold and tourmaline ring; this time an orange-pink trillion set in a textured band.

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Pretty popular pink tourmaline rose cuts

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I can never get enough of this stuff; when I do have it, it goes fast, and when I run out I have to scrabble for more. So when I do get it, it’s always exciting. This is rose cut pink tourmaline in 3mm, 4mm and 5mm rounds. Plenty of the 3mm and 4mm, less of the 5mm so if that’s your bag, grab it! Good saturation, this is moderately included, although you know the photos make them look so much more included than they appear in life. I love my macro lens but it does rather have the effect of making the stones appear as though you are looking at them through a loupe. Tourmaline is so varied and comes in so many colours that for years, people were confused about their actual identity; indeed the name comes from the word ‘toramalli’, which in Sinahlese means ‘mixed gems’. Myth has it that its dazzling range of colours is because it travelled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow’s hues. It’s a nice image! You can find the rose cuts here; prices start from $3.35 for a 3mm stone up to $14 for a 5mm. To shop all tourmaline, click here.

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