I was fortunate to be offered some rubellite rough from the Malkhan district, East Siberia, home of some really beautiful stones. This one I cut on the C-axis to take advantage of the natural shape of the crystal, which is somewhat triangular. You can see in the photo of the rough how the color is strong on one end of the crystal and light on the other end. The trick is to get as much of the pavilion in the darker colored area to make the stone pop.
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Believed to have been discovered in the 1500s by Brazilian conquistadors, it wasn’t until the 1800s when scientists discovered that tourmaline was its own sort of mineral. Clarity is an important aspect of tourmaline, as it can actually be as transparent as diamond.
The name Tourmaline comes from the Singhalese word (from northern India) “touramalli” which means “mixed colored stones”. Because tourmaline is found in so many different colors they were often confused with other types of gems.
Tourmaline is a birthstone for October along with opal. Tourmaline is also the gem of the 8th wedding anniversary.