Professional Jeweler Archive: Spectacular Tourmalines!

August 2004

Gemstones/Gemology


Spectacular Tourmalines!

Rare gems turn up the heat on color


The sudden availability of a spectacular tourmaline – whether unveiled to the public for the first time or brought back after decades spent in a private collection – quickens the heart of enthusiasts. Two such gems made an appearance at the Tucson gem and mineral shows this year: a spectacular bubble-gum pink tourmaline and an electric blue Paraíba tourmaline. Both quickly disappeared into buyers’ hands.

Scorching Hot Pink

 Photo by Robert Weldon.

When jewelry designer Paula Crevoshay came across this 25.61-ct. gem tourmaline on St. Valentine’s Day a year ago, she knew she had to have it. “A gem dealer obtained it from someone’s collection – it had been in private hands for over 50 years,” says Crevoshay. “When the owner died, the inheritors did not want to keep the gem, so it reentered the market.” Crevoshay bought the tourmaline and flanked it with mandarin garnets and diamonds in this gold ring.

The gem originated in the Tourmaline Queen mine in Pala, CA, long famous for its bubble-gum pink tourmalines. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tzu Hsi, China’s last empress dowager, popularized bubble-gum pink tourmaline, and most of the mine’s production found its way to China. There, it was carved or fashioned into beads and other ornaments. Little was turned into faceted gems.

  • Paula Crevoshay, Mellika, Albuquerque, NM; (505) 898-2888.

Paraíba

 Photo by Robert Weldon.

Sergio Martins made a name for himself as a purveyor of spectacular Paraíba tourmalines. In 2003, he exhibited a breathtaking 45.11-ct. trillion-cut Paraíba tourmaline in Tucson (Professional Jeweler, April 2003, p. 31). Martins also owns an emerald mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Despite his impressive showing of emeralds in Tucson this year, he says this 6.97-ct. Paraíba tourmaline received the most attention in its public debut. This classic gem from the Batalha Mine is large by Paraíba standards and loupe-clean. (Paraíba tourmalines are notoriously included). “It happens to be the top achievable neon electric color in terms of unheated material. As far as anyone knows, this gem remains unmatched,” he says. The gem was sold at Tucson, but Martins feels it’s important for the gem’s information to enter the public record.

  • Sergio Martins, Stone World, Sao Paulo, Brazil (55-11) 3259-5966, sergiomartins@stoneworld.com.br.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications