Well, I listed these a few days ago and already they are going fast. Lovely bi and parti-colour tourmaline rose cut freeforms – also known as polki cut, if that makes more sense to you. The fascinating multi-coloured patterns that occur, and that make this material so unique are caused by changes in the concentration of trace elements during crystal growth. It is these trace elements that often give stones their different colours; manganese for red, pink or brown crystals, iron for dark blue or black, chromium for green and so on. As the crystal grows, if it is exposed to different trace elements, it will change colour as it grows. These are always so popular; partly due to their vibrancy, I think but also because they are unique. You can find them here, just in the Hong Kong store.
This one is all about the cabochons… A whole new lot of small to medium sized pink tourmaline cabochons. Lots of teardrops. Some ovals. Some marquise. Lots of bright, vibrant fuschia, and nice affordable prices for a lovely unique piece that won’t break the bank. Prices start from $37 with these stones which I think lend themselves very well to pendants. Mix them up with unexpected partners for an exciting effect; sunshine yellow citrine, or sharp green peridot. Perhaps even turquoise or rainbow moonstone could be fun. My mother’s engagement ring is a rather unexpected and lively tourmaline and amethyst combo. Or just go clean and lean with some white stones; diamonds if you can run to them; white topaz if not!
One thing that you tend to get with tourmaline – especially cabochons – is inclusions; very characteristic mirror like-inclusions, two-phase inclusions, liquid inclusions and growth tubes to mention just a few. Because of this, the predominent value factor with tourmaline is colour, and inclusions are tolerated to the extent that they don’t interfere with this. Besides, I think that many of the inclusions you see in tourmaline are quite simply beautiful, and rather than detract, add to the character of the stone. Clean gemstones are desirable, I know, but a few inclusions roots a stone to the earth, tells you where it has come from and reminds you of its incredible and unlikely journey to the surface of the earth. To shop the new tourmaline cabochons, 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.
My April newsletter is out, and I have some really fantastic new stones; rose cut opal, apatite, pink tourmaline, rainbow moonstone ruby and sapphire. All desirable, beautiful and hard-to-find. Plus for those of you who are signed up to my loyalty points scheme, it’s double points all month! And for those of you who are not, why not sign up? You can earn points for introducing a friend, for liking me on Facebook, following on Instagram and Twitter…even for just having a birthday. This month it’s 2 points for every dollar spent; 400 for joining up. And at just 500 points you start to earn money off your future orders.
Or parti-coloured tourmaline, to give it its correct title. Not, as my slightly po-faced GIA instructor said, as in, ‘let’s have a party.’ That may have been a joke. It was slightly hard to tell. New in stock, I have more pieces of this most beautiful and fascinating of stones in a breathtaking array of colours. I have new slices and some rose cut (polki) pieces, and each piece has been hand-selected by me for either its pattern – complex or simple, its colour – unusual or gorgeous, its unusual combinations of colours, or it’s saturation – saturated or subtle. The green and orange polki, top left, or the teal green surrounded by black slice towards the top right; the pale pink and blue polkis, of which I have several, and blue is always a popular colour that goes fast.
Clarity of these stones can be rather mixed, but most of these are not bad and many have the kind of clarity characteristics that I think are rather beautiful; for instance you can see mirror-like inclusions on several of the stones, which sparkle as the light catches them with a spectral flash. Tourmaline crystals are very distinctive; broadly triangular in shape with striations down the sides and the colour zoning is due to a change in the concentration or composition of the trace elements that give the stone its colour during its growth. Iron, titanium and manganese induce different colours and yet others might be due to colour centres caused by radiation. To shop watermelon slices, click here; to shop freeform rose cuts (polki), click here.
So many gorgeous examples of watermelon tourmaline jewellery around, but if I had to pick out one I have long coveted Barbara Heinrich Studio’s watermelon tourmaline slice necklace. This also has hand-fabricated 18k gold shell elements and gold tube spacers. Love those gold shells, echoing the shape of the tourmaline slices, and love the matched-but-not-matched slices.
JCK news report that something like 36% of Americans want to spend less than $1000 on their engagement rings, and that furthermore, older adults are likely to believe this more than those who are younger. Of course there is (as I know from my other life as a
psychologist) that there is often a gap between what people say they believe and what people actually do: the average cost of an engagement ring in the US is between $3000 and $5000. But it made me think – is that necessary? When I got engaged, in the car on the way over to buy the ring, I remember saying to my husband-to-be, ‘Oh, let’s not spend too much, I don’t need anything fancy, it’s not what it’s about anyway’…
And then they brought out the trays of bling, and I was ‘Uh…oh… I want that one’!!! And it was more than $1000. More than £1000 come to that. That was before I was in this line of work, and now I’d do it differently. Now I’d work from the stone out – that is, pick a stone that I loved and then have the ring designed around that.
I’ve got a sapphire in my ring and I love it, but I think if I were to have my time again, I’d maybe choose something different. Forget about diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire, with the prices sky-high, and having to keep it small. How about the gorgeous apricot pink oval at the top of the page, with gorgeous pleochroic lighter and darker shades? Or what could be more perfect than a big, plump, pink heart to seal the deal? This one (above left) is is around 12x11mm –
imagine that sitting proudly on your finger! Or for something more classic, the green square mixed cut (above right) would be beautiful surrounded by some baguette-cut diamonds. What I love most about tourmaline is its extraordinary colour range, and more unusual is the gorgeous sunshine-yellow oval, left. Again, it’s a good size at around 11mm long. Also lovely is the luminous pink pear, right, also a great size at around 10mm, and an even more fantastic price.
But what about a ring for $1000 and under? Impossible?! Not at all; there is plenty on offer; so many I had trouble picking just a few. Here are some of my favourites; clockwise from top left: rhodolite garnet is a beautiful and under-rated stone, in my opinion. This garnet, palladium and rose gold ring by Nodeform Weddings is beautiful in its simplicity and the rhodolite and rose gold compliment each other perfectly and comes in well under budget at $785. Those who know me know that there is a special place in my heart for textured metal; Stone Fever Jewelry’s Moonscape ring features a green tourmaline on a hand-punched, cratered 14 carat rose gold band and sneaks under the bar at $999. They will can also make matching wedding bands.and this style can also be made in yellow gold. Doron Merav’s Leaves engagement ring of white gold set with diamonds showcases an unashamedly feminine yet contemporary aesthetic, and at only $370 represents fantastic value for money. I don’t think I’ve seen anything so pretty that I’ve like so much in a long time. Last but not least is Nangijala Jewelry’s rough teal, sapphire and rose gold ring; sleek, contemporary and original. This is priced at a very reasonable $825.
As for me – the ring we ended up buying, the one I absolutely had to have? I remember saying to the rather austere assistant (with the brutal dark red lipstick) ‘My only concern is that it’s quite like Princess Di’s.’ Without missing a beat she replied, ‘Princess Di’s was much bigger.’ Well, I could have walked out there and then. But then, I absolutely had to have that ring.