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Tourmalines and color changers

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Noahsmom

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After looking at all of your lovely stones, I have decided that I am going to start a project of my own.

When looking for blue-green tourmalines, or really tourmalines of any color, what should I look for? What questions should I ask?
I saw there are a ton of them on ebay, but some look cloudy, some looks poorly cut, etc.

I would love to look at some diaspore''s as well. What should I look for and ask about?
Would my ideal scope or loupe help?
I am going to a gem show next Friday and I would like either round or cushion cuts. I don''t really have a ct size, but I would like to stay between the 1 and 2 ct mark.

I appreciate your sage thoughts and advice!
 

LD

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Tourmalines - that's a huge subject and not sure exactly what you're looking for? Like cars, you have an overall make (say Ford) but then you have models (like Fiesta, Ka, Focus) etc. So in the blue/green world of Tourmaline you have Indicolite, Paraiba etc etc. In the red spectrum you can find pink tourmaline, Rubellite etc. It might help to narrow down what you're looking for? As a general rule of thumb, Tourmalines are a type 2 gemstone so to see inclusions is "normal". However chose one where the inclusions don't overtake the look of the gemstone. Buying a tourmaline is no different from any other gemstone in that you look for colour, clarity and cut.

As for Diaspore (sometimes called Zultanite) that's a whole different ball game. You're probably aware that Diaspore is mined in Turkey and has colour shift properties? The most beautiful are an apple green in daylight, moving through to olive green, then peach and finally you'll get pink flashes in the evening. However, it's not a gemstone that stays constant and it will change when moved around so you wouldn't, for example, compare it to a colour change Alexandrite or a colour change Sapphire. A LOT of Diaspore lacks the colour shifting property so you really need to test drive each stone to make sure it "works" for you! I'm very fortunate to own some lovely pieces of Diaspore so shout up if you want to see piccies but be warned, like most colour shifter/changers they're the devils own work to photograph!

Forget your ideal scope. As far as I'm aware it only works with diamonds (correct me if I'm wrong anybody) but a loupe is essential.
 

Noahsmom

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Thanks LD that was very helpful!

I am more interested in Paraiba and I have recently seen some gorgeous pink and peachy color tourmaline's and I am fascinated with all the various colors they can come in.
Right now I want to focus on the blue-greens. As another poster described it, put it under a table and it looks like it has it's own battery pack.

I do know that diaspores are mined in Turkey, and the color changing properties is what I really like about it! I like the idea of the colors changing so frequently, it's like wearing four rings in one


Of course I want to see pictures!! Don't be silly!
 

LD

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Ok - first tip with Paraiba - don't buy it off Ebay! Most of it has been photoshopped and won't be the real deal. You can occasionally find something good BUT it's a rarity. A glowing neon Paraiba Tourmaline will cost you $$$$$. If it doesn't, then you need to ask yourself why. I've had people show me their PT saying "isn't it wonderful" when in truth it's not. You need to allow yourself plenty of time to find "the one". I don't know if you've seen my recent thread on my Paraibas but the collection I have is a result of many years - and trust me, I've also seen, sent back, or given away many many many more than I've shown that are an insult to the word Paraiba!

With pink tourmaline my main criteria is that it should never look brown. Some turn a brownish tone in incandescent lighting. The brown tone is my personal hate so I stay away from it but I know that others like it. I actually adore Rubellite but again this is soooooooo hit and miss and you have to see a lot before you "know" what's a good one and what isn't. Going to the gem fair you mentioned should give you a good insight into what's in the market and what you'll get for how much you have to spend.

Here's a picture of my Rubellite ring. It's either 6 or 8ct - can't remember which and I LOVE IT! It's a rich purple/pink/red with only a small inclusion.

Photos of the Diaspore to follow:
 

LD

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Photos of Diaspore - please bear in mind that in real life this is an incredibly sparkly gemstone. It hates my camera and I see more pink/peach than the browns that show here. This is a 2ct gemstone set into a ring. During the day its a pale apple green - although you'd be hard pressed to know that from these photos!!!!!
 

LD

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Last photo. This is a Diaspore cut by Wobito into one of their snowflakes.
 

chrono

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LD,
Your rubellite is an extremely rich colour and I love your snowflake diaspore. It screams for a pendant setting. Is it set yet?

Noahsmom,
Unless you know how to shop for gems on ebay, I would avoid it at all costs, especially when going for a paraiba tourmaline. Many are overpriced, some are photoshopped and others are synthetics or really another gemstone type (zircon, apatite or regular tourmaline with no glow). An idealscope is of absolutely no use but the loupe might come in handy for inclusions, that's all.
 

LD

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Date: 3/8/2009 1:47:29 PM
Author: Chrono
LD,
Your rubellite is an extremely rich colour and I love your snowflake diaspore. It screams for a pendant setting. Is it set yet?

Noahsmom,
Unless you know how to shop for gems on ebay, I would avoid it at all costs, especially when going for a paraiba tourmaline. Many are overpriced, some are photoshopped and others are synthetics or really another gemstone type (zircon, apatite or regular tourmaline with no glow). An idealscope is of absolutely no use but the loupe might come in handy for inclusions, that''s all.
Thank you Chrono. The snowflake is unset but I have another in a Tanzanite and that has been set into into a pendant - great minds eh?
 

T L

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Lovely collection LD - everytime I think I've seen everything you have, you surprise us with more!!


NoahsMom (Noah is very cute btw!),
Be careful of irradiated pink tourmaline which is inferior colored tourmaline that is heated to a clear color, and then irradiated pink. I would not buy pink tourmaline unless I got it from a very reputable dealer.

When looking for a good tourmaline, you should make sure it doesn't go black in any sort of lighting. Most tourmaline does this.

Also try to look for tourmaline without grey or brown secondary tones, unless you like that. For example if you want a golden tourmaline, it will probably have some brown in it.

Paraiba tourmalines are so highly prized because the finest ones are pretty devoid of grey and brown secondary modifiers and they are extremely bright in all lighting (natural and artificial). LD's paraiba tourmaline collection is exemplary of this.
 

LD

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Date: 3/8/2009 3:08:46 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
Lovely collection LD - everytime I think I''ve seen everything you have, you surprise us with more!!
You do make me chuckle TL. I haven''t posted a tenth of what I have - primarily because I can''t be bothered to photograph it all!
 

T L

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Date: 3/8/2009 3:13:45 PM
Author: LovingDiamonds


Date: 3/8/2009 3:08:46 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
Lovely collection LD - everytime I think I've seen everything you have, you surprise us with more!!
You do make me chuckle TL. I haven't posted a tenth of what I have - primarily because I can't be bothered to photograph it all!


You have MORE!!?? You must post it!!
 

klewis

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This is might be the place to show my first tourmaline aquisition. It''s from Tucson, via Richard Wise - a lovely, flawless red, ( the stone , not Richard) 9.38ct here showing it''s night colour and in daylight it''s quite different, showing more purple secondary hue. It so looks amazing in this emerald cut. I did say to him I would like a red stone, but gave him free reign to buy anything of any colour within my budget. It was quite an exciting few weeks wait, that''s for sure.

Tourmaline01jpg.jpg
 

chrono

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That is one crazy gorgeous tourmaline!!!
 

klewis

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Thanks innerkitten and chrono.
I would love to have a Pariaba, in fact I''d settle on just seeing one in the flesh.

Happy shopping at the gem show Noahsmom and do show us if you buy a stone there - or anywhere for that matter.
 

mochi

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Wow! That is a beautiful red toumaline! I''ve never seen a tourmaline in that color before. Stunning!!
 

Noahsmom

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Klewis that is a stunner!!

I saw a mint green tourmaline on the finegems.com site...it was gorgeous! Too bad it was a princess cut, I was hoping for a round. It is $200, is that a normal price range?

How often does he update the page?
 

klewis

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Thank you Noahsmom.
I can''t give you any advice, but I did want to see the mint tourmaline you mentioned and so tried to get on to the site - I could only see an initial home page with an email address link - nothing more? hmm
 

Noahsmom

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hmmm, not sure why you can't see it.
www.finewatergems.com
I clicked on tourmaline, I think it was the last one down.
 

klewis

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Oh... I was looking at finegems.com. I''ll go and see it now.
 

zeolite

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Klewis, that is a beautiful gem!
 

klewis

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Thank you Mochi and Zeolite for the positive comments.
Mochi I thought of you today and I remembered someone commenting on your lovely outdoor gem photos and you were saying how once you dropped one of your stones into the pond I think it was. Well I decided to get creative with an outdoor photo of my own but somehow between my short walk from the dining room out to the garden, my stone went missing. Both my partner and I, horrified, dropped to our hands and knees and began crawling around the lawn. Together, like a couple of cows following each other, we traced my footsteps and crawled along the path, through the garage and out to our back door where I saw we were being watched by our neighbour who was standing at her kitchen window. I bet there''ll be some good dinner conversation at their table tonight! We crawled, one behind the other up the steps and into the house. It must have look hilarious, but it was anything but funny - I was nauseous and desperate. Luckily we found it, unharmed on the dining room carpet, under the chest. I have been instructed from now on I have to announce if I''m taking a gem from the safe and announce when I return it, kind of like a submarine commander announcing to the crew " Get ready to dive!" Anyway, NO-ONE''s going to send me a stone to view after this story.
A good lesson though.
 

mochi

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Date: 3/8/2009 11:38:43 PM
Author: klewis
Thank you Mochi and Zeolite for the positive comments.
Mochi I thought of you today and I remembered someone commenting on your lovely outdoor gem photos and you were saying how once you dropped one of your stones into the pond I think it was. Well I decided to get creative with an outdoor photo of my own but somehow between my short walk from the dining room out to the garden, my stone went missing. Both my partner and I, horrified, dropped to our hands and knees and began crawling around the lawn. Together, like a couple of cows following each other, we traced my footsteps and crawled along the path, through the garage and out to our back door where I saw we were being watched by our neighbour who was standing at her kitchen window. I bet there''ll be some good dinner conversation at their table tonight! We crawled, one behind the other up the steps and into the house. It must have look hilarious, but it was anything but funny - I was nauseous and desperate. Luckily we found it, unharmed on the dining room carpet, under the chest. I have been instructed from now on I have to announce if I''m taking a gem from the safe and announce when I return it, kind of like a submarine commander announcing to the crew '' Get ready to dive!'' Anyway, NO-ONE''s going to send me a stone to view after this story.
A good lesson though.
LOL!! I almost choked on my pizza! I know it''s not funny, but wish I was there to see this. I''d probably be crawling around with you all looking!

Doesn''t your heart just stop when you do that??? I know mine did, I was horrified! And more panic would set in when my boxers would come around trying to help! I can just immagine one of them just swallowing one of my gemstones... I would definitely be following behind them for a few days...

But did you get any pictures?? What are your plans with this gorgeous stone?
 

Noahsmom

Shiny_Rock
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Your story is so funny! Reading about how you guys were following each other around on all fours, I got the image of the way elephants hold each other''s tails in their trunks like in a parade or circus.

I''m glad you found your stone though, I can''t wait to see some pictures.

It''s late and I''m hungry, maybe that''s where the weird thought is coming from?
 

yingh

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That is a seriously GORGEOUS tourmaline!

And you story is so funny too! Glad you find it. Whatever others will say, let them say it. They never knew what they are missing!

Date: 3/8/2009 11:38:43 PM
Author: klewis
Thank you Mochi and Zeolite for the positive comments.

Mochi I thought of you today and I remembered someone commenting on your lovely outdoor gem photos and you were saying how once you dropped one of your stones into the pond I think it was. Well I decided to get creative with an outdoor photo of my own but somehow between my short walk from the dining room out to the garden, my stone went missing. Both my partner and I, horrified, dropped to our hands and knees and began crawling around the lawn. Together, like a couple of cows following each other, we traced my footsteps and crawled along the path, through the garage and out to our back door where I saw we were being watched by our neighbour who was standing at her kitchen window. I bet there''ll be some good dinner conversation at their table tonight! We crawled, one behind the other up the steps and into the house. It must have look hilarious, but it was anything but funny - I was nauseous and desperate. Luckily we found it, unharmed on the dining room carpet, under the chest. I have been instructed from now on I have to announce if I''m taking a gem from the safe and announce when I return it, kind of like a submarine commander announcing to the crew '' Get ready to dive!'' Anyway, NO-ONE''s going to send me a stone to view after this story.

A good lesson though.
 

klewis

Brilliant_Rock
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871
No I didn''t get any outdoor pictures - I''m beginning to think emerald cuts are particularly difficult to photograph. I really wanted to show the daylight colour but things need to "settle down" first. Gee thanks noahsmom for the elephant image
, I was trying to avoid that



Mochi- I plan a ring for myself, but will live with the stone for a bit before deciding on a design, and I am thinking through some questions I plan to ask PSers regarding emerald cuts.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Klewis, that color is incredible! Gorgeous stone!

And your story cracked me up - I love how you now check in and out when you take a stone!



EDIT: Oh can I say, I love tourmalines? Tourmalines are my "happy" stones - they comprise a good chunk of my collection
 

LD

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klewis -


If you ever get bored of your gorgeous Tourmaline, my pear needs a friend to play with! Stunning!
 

Gailey

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Date: 3/8/2009 1:16:32 PM
Author: LovingDiamonds
Last photo. This is a Diaspore cut by Wobito into one of their snowflakes.
Cool cut LD. The Wobito brothers cut an Imperial Topaz that was the subject of a Discovery Chanel program. You can watch it on their website
 

klewis

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Date: 3/9/2009 5:10:26 PM
Author: LovingDiamonds
klewis -



If you ever get bored of your gorgeous Tourmaline, my pear needs a friend to play with! Stunning!
Thank you LD. Not bored just yet, but yes, it is looking for a friend so when can you send your beautiful pear tourmaline over? Send it as soon as possible and I promise no outdoor photography - no need to include your return address, we''ll just see what happens
 
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