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tell me about tourmalines

lavatea

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
515
I have a tourmaline asscher (I'm obsessing about this stone/ring lately - sorry) that developed a stress fracture during cutting. It made it through setting just fine, and I've been ok with the fracture. I don't know if I'm crazy or what, but it looks like the fracture has grown or a new one has developed or something. I haven't even been wearing the ring this week. This is the first time I've put it on since Sunday. I haven't bumped it or anything that I'm aware of, and I'm very aware and paranoid when I wear the ring. I did clean it this afternoon with soap and my toothbrush under warm water. Maybe water got in the crack and is making it look different? To me it looks like there is a fracture near the culet now. I can't tell if the original fracture that looks close to the top is just a reflection of the culet one and has been there all along.

Anyway, please tell me what you know about tourmaline - hardness, ease of damage, stress fractures, etc. TIA.

BTW - I don't loupe my jewelry so this is all what my eye is seeing. Here's the vendor picture. It shows the original fracture better than any pictuers I have.

Afghanistani%20mint%20tourmaline%20vendor%20pic_1.27%20cts,%206.2%20mm.jpg
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
I do not quite remember all the info but I think the first book that I read mentioned inner tension forces inside the stone and the ease with which it developed fractures.
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
1,779
I'm so sorry to hear that you think the fracture may be growing. Have you tried to do any comparison photos?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,288
In my experience, I have found that tourmaline chips and scratches easily, even if you are careful. They are not the most durable of gems, and so even if you are very careful, it can be difficult to avoid damage. I have more luck with garnets, spinels, and harder gems. While garnets are just as hard as tourmaline, in my experience, they seem more durable.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
The stress fracture can grow - I've had discussions with lapidaries who've seen the fracture grow over a few days even though nothing was done to it. I'm sorry. :knockout: The stone in question was a spinel so it can happen to any gemstone.
 

lavatea

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
515
Thanks for the responses. Maybe I was being crazy or maybe it had something to do with water getting in the crack and making it more obvious. I'm really not sure. Trying not to freak out too much about it as there's nothing I can do either way. Need to just enjoy the ring and if the stone crumbles to pieces I'll just have to have a new one cut in the future. :cheeky:

Anyway, I may try to get some comparison photos later in the week, but I'm really bad at getting clear macro shots so it may be a waste of time.
 

kas baby

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Messages
973
can't say I know anything about fractures, however, I hope your tourmaline is able to live a long healthy CS life :saint:
 

bobsiv

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
88
In lapidary circles tourmaline is known for being a pretty finicky stone. It can cause a lot of frustration for cutters because a really nice looking piece of rough can often develop fractures like the ones shown in your stone during cutting. A lot of cutters have vaguely superstitious habits for cutting them, like doing the whole stone in one sitting. I would say it's unlikely that water got into the fracture, and more likely that the fracture is either getting bigger or the stone is developing a new one. This is possible even if you haven't touched the stone in the meantime, due to the internal pressure mentioned earlier (although in my experience this always happens within a few days of cutting). I think you should just cross your fingers. Good luck! (Beautiful color on the stone, regardless of fractures).
 
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