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First CS - 12ct Blue/Green "Lagoon" Tourmaline Recut Project

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
This is my first colored stone project, and I'll start with a disclaimer that I know very little! Awhile back I posted asking about Instagram Tourmaline vendors from Pakistan, and got some good advice. I decided to be adventurous and did buy this 12ct Blue/Green (represented as "Lagoon") tourmaline, which is included but has (to me) a very beautiful open color. The shipping process was interesting as stones cannot be shipped directly out of Pakistan but have to be carried by a courier to another country, in this case Bangkok Thailand, and shipped from there. I followed the advice on the thread and asked the poor vendor for many, many photos in different lighting conditions. That said I did still go ahead with my possibly risky adventure. Thank you!

Vendor's photos from outdoors, indirect sun, maybe some saturation photo tricks :)
includedtourmoutdoorstill.PNG includedtourmoutdoor.PNG

Vendor's photos indoors but with bright indoor light:

20200214_005652346_iOS.jpg includedtourmindoor.PNG

Indoor video:

Direct sunlight:
20200219_024025813_iOS.jpg

When I received the stone, I felt the vendor's photos were pretty accurate except it's more blue tinted than green in real life. This photo is closest to what it looks to me and I did adjust it to push the blue color up and green color down.
20200214_005652346_iOS.jpg

I also took a few worst possible photos of it in very dim yellow lighting. Still colorful!
C1F31EAF-13B2-47C6-9A26-72B48E0C3765.jpg A446F765-70CA-4A5D-A9F2-3DA9023D27E6.jpeg

However, the stone has a problem and that is that at typical angles, half of it is dark and mushy where the facet geometry can't be seen any more. Because of how open the color is, I think the problem is the cut, which is a native mixed cut. It's really hard to see in these photos but the full sunlight one shows half the stone in darkness:
includedtourmindoor.PNG

I contacted Dan Stair to see if he could improve the cut and he was lovely. I was a little worried that this was the point I would find out this IG-Tourmaline-Pakistan adventure was a really bad idea and something was super wrong with the stone. He felt the color was very nice and that I paid about half of the wholesale price of the stone as a result of my adventure. (Nice side effect!) So far so good.

He is going to start with recutting just the lower pavillion to see if we are happy with a small tweak, but will proceed to a full recut if I want. I will post updates as they come in.
 

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Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
Thank you! I was very impressed at how quickly he responded and how thorough his assessment was of the options for the stone. He also offered me multiple options and less expensive than I anticipated.

I forgot it's current measurements: 14.34 x 11.87 x 10.33

Very deep with a lot of pavilion to work with for the recut.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,898
I agree regarding Dan Stair. Wow, what a gorgeous tourmaline! I think you did a great job with your first CS. :love:

Look forward to seeing more of this stone after Dan Stair is done with it.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
5,363
I have seen the results of Dan's recuts on PS, your stone will be in good and safe hands. Looking forward to see the result of your recut stone as the colour is lovely.

DK :))
 

Niffler75

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
362
:lol-2: :lol-2: :lol-2: Once you've fallen down the rabbit hole there is no escape! Any ideas on your next purchase then? ;)2
 

pwsg07

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
715
Beautiful stone. Is the stone eye clean? How much weight loss do you expect?
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
:lol-2: :lol-2: :lol-2: Once you've fallen down the rabbit hole there is no escape! Any ideas on your next purchase then? ;)2
There's no hope for me! :lol-2: Probably another Afghan tourmaline in neon blue, green, or pink. They are affordable enough to get a relatively large stone.
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
Beautiful stone. Is the stone eye clean? How much weight loss do you expect?
Thank you! Eye clean at 18" or more but up close it is not. For the pavilion adjustment he is estimating 8-10% loss but if we need to move on to full recut up to 33%. The stone is super deep so it's a good candidate. Probably easier to set afterwards too.
 

pwsg07

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
715
Thank you! Eye clean at 18" or more but up close it is not. For the pavilion adjustment he is estimating 8-10% loss but if we need to move on to full recut up to 33%. The stone is super deep so it's a good candidate. Probably easier to set afterwards too.
From what I have heard from a cutter, 25% loss in general. Is the recut going to be a brilliant cut or step cut?
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
From what I have heard from a cutter, 25% loss in general. Is the recut going to be a brilliant cut or step cut?
The first step is he is going to make the lower 3 pavillion tiers brilliant instead of step cut which will be the small loss. The lower 3 tiers are probably 70% of the depth of the pavillion, you can see here:

20200214_005645383_iOS.jpg

I have asked him to use large blocky facets as I don't like modern splintery cuts. I prefer mixed cuts (I think you do too if I remember your posts correctly) but I am trusting his judgement because he wants to preserve as much of the stone as possible. If we are not happy after the small adjustment then he will do the full recut. I believe he would have redone the same mixed cut if I had asked him to, he mentioned those cuts can be good if the angles line up right. There was definitely something misaligned inside this cut.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,366
I am not surprised he only sugested a small change.
 

pwsg07

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
715
The first step is he is going to make the lower 3 pavillion tiers brilliant instead of step cut which will be the small loss. The lower 3 tiers are probably 70% of the depth of the pavillion, you can see here:

20200214_005645383_iOS.jpg

I have asked him to use large blocky facets as I don't like modern splintery cuts. I prefer mixed cuts (I think you do too if I remember your posts correctly) but I am trusting his judgement because he wants to preserve as much of the stone as possible. If we are not happy after the small adjustment then he will do the full recut. I believe he would have redone the same mixed cut if I had asked him to, he mentioned those cuts can be good if the angles line up right. There was definitely something misaligned inside this cut.
For the elongated stones, I found out some brilliant cut pavilions still show some half and half distinction. My garnet is an example. 3B4ECEB9-8D2A-4EB0-9B8C-9DF381111635.jpeg
I like these two designs but I don’t know how about their light performance


22659F1D-DCE4-46EE-9355-18FD32DCEF6F.jpeg 08B13EB6-C08A-47E9-BCAA-398331ADF9A1.jpeg
This is my favorite cut

78829284-69FB-4FF4-B6D8-DC9765EA88B0.jpeg

I like stones with pointy cutlets or small keel lines.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
6,806
Will be interested to see how it turns out. Small changes are always best. you don't want to chip away at the product too much if you like the size, and too large of a change...well you could also change the color of the stone too (also bad)
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
This is my favorite cut

78829284-69FB-4FF4-B6D8-DC9765EA88B0.jpeg

I like stones with pointy cutlets or small keel lines.
Thank you for your thoughts and showing me perhaps similar cuts! I love this mixed cut too. A lot of the stones offered from Pakistan on IG have a native version of this cut. I have seen a bunch of them go from the Pakistani vendor's IG to Singapore and western vendors like in days or weeks. I have never had an example of this cut in person, have you? How did it perform titled at different angles? I love it in photos.
 

pwsg07

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
715
Thank you for your thoughts and showing me perhaps similar cuts! I love this mixed cut too. A lot of the stones offered from Pakistan on IG have a native version of this cut. I have seen a bunch of them go from the Pakistani vendor's IG to Singapore and western vendors like in days or weeks. I have never had an example of this cut in person, have you? How did it perform titled at different angles? I love it in photos.
This is the video of the diamond.
http://instagr.am/p/BvcezQ2HuRN/
31753D25-33D9-4ACB-8064-D0F39B11EFEB.jpeg
My only stone in this cut with large facets in the pavilion. I never judge the light performance at titled angles because I don’t know how to judge. I only judge the performance of the stone face up. I love it anyways. Recently I realize the small facets will make the stone more saturated in colour. The large facets will lighten the stone.
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
31753D25-33D9-4ACB-8064-D0F39B11EFEB.jpeg
My only stone in this cut with large facets in the pavilion. I never judge the light performance at titled angles because I don’t know how to judge. I only judge the performance of the stone face up. I love it anyways. Recently I realize the small facets will make the stone more saturated in colour. The large facets will lighten the stone.
Your garnet is GORGEOUS!!! :kiss2: It's so saturated I can see the orange glow on the white holder!! The diamond is nice but OMG your garnet.

I think whether the facets deepen the color or not is about how many times a beam of light is bounced back and forth inside the stone and returned to the eye. Many yellow diamonds have a really busy cut with tiny facets in order to do this. I think you are right, but it is also possible for small facets to bounce light back to the eye with fewer reflections (Tolkowsky round brilliant cut.)
 

pwsg07

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
715
Your garnet is GORGEOUS!!! :kiss2: It's so saturated I can see the orange glow on the white holder!! The diamond is nice but OMG your garnet.

I think whether the facets deepen the color or not is about how many times a beam of light is bounced back and forth inside the stone and returned to the eye. Many yellow diamonds have a really busy cut with tiny facets in order to do this. I think you are right, but it is also possible for small facets to bounce light back to the eye with fewer reflections (Tolkowsky round brilliant cut.)
Thank you. This garnet is very small. I bought it as a colour reference
 

2Neezers

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,139
The color of your tourmaline is gorgeous :love: !! I can’t wait to see it after the recut!
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
It's here!! Dan Stair did a wonderful job on the recut, it only lost .9ct going from 11.97 to 11.07. He recut part of the pavilion and polish out a small chip on the crown. He only charged me $90!

It was partly cloudy and sunset when I took the photos.

Sun is out here:

20200308_013002590_iOS (2).jpg



20200308_012333256_iOS.jpg

20200308_012314758_iOS.jpg

Sun is behind the clouds here:

20200308_012159227_iOS.jpg

20200308_011354156_iOS.jpg

20200308_011525897_iOS.jpg

Darkest outdoor photo, it was both cloudy and the sun dipped behind the horizon.

20200308_011321822_iOS.jpg

This is what it looks like in bright yellow indoor lighting:

20200308_013741724_iOS (2).jpg

20200308_013649587_iOS (2).jpg

And I always like seeing the "worst possible lighting" photo of tourmaline, this is very very dim yellow indoor lighting, similar to the worst photo I posted above.
20200308_055342108_iOS.jpg

Dan is a great cutter but he takes terrible photos =)2 I have no idea what lighting condition he was using to photograph the stone here, because I have never seen it look this way!

stair.daniel_87864023_836953800063757_594350692789393313_n.jpg

I'm super happy with both the original IG vendor and with Dan!
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
6,806
NICE!! Def. is more lively! He did a great job! :appl:
 

Rfisher

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
1,981
Great write up and pics!
Beautiful stone!
Just curious - was it possible for him to do a clean up of a mixed cut or did it have to be a brilliant pavilion?
I don’t think his pics are ‘terrible’ but us seeing your pics compared to his (and @Niel recut) helps us see to ‘read’ his.
 

Polyhex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
56
Just curious - was it possible for him to do a clean up of a mixed cut or did it have to be a brilliant pavilion?
I don’t think his pics are ‘terrible’ but us seeing your pics compared to his (and @Niel recut) helps us see to ‘read’ his.
Thank you! Yes it would have been possible to clean up with a mixed cut (brilliant cut top, step cut bottom) but since I have very limited experience with colored stones I asked him to use his best judgement on what would get the best results with minimal weight loss.

You're right, I was joking when I said "terrible." :) I think he is using an artifical lighting condition which accurately shows the facets and inclusions very clearly, but greatly washes out the color, at least for tourmaline. It seems likely to me that at a minimum the tourmaline stones he has for sale are much more saturated than they appear in his photos. I will check out Niell's photos!
 
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