Verdelite Update

Recently we of the Vienna Gem Center registered a significant rise in demand for fine green tourmalines and we are particularly pleased to be able to report a spectacular new discovery of verdelite in central africa.

About one year ago we received the first samples from the new mine. Judging the quality of tourmaline rough is always a tricky affair. Even the most experienced gemcutters have had their share of unpleasant surprises. Due to the strong pleochroism each piece of rough is a challenge and basically you only get to know if the colour is pure or has that unwanted brownish tinge once the stone is cut and polished. Furthermore there are some African tourmalines that literally explode upon first contact with the cutting disc. Cutters have appropriately nicknamed these stones “glassheads”.

Well, we were in luck. The stones turned out to be of pleasingly high clarity, most in fact eyeclean, with colours ranging from yellowish green to green and a stunning slightly bluish green. These new stones are definitely superior to the common brazilian verdelites (often jokingly termed “beerbottelites”).

After several months (!) of serious bargaining we received the first shipment and at the moment can supply stones of up to 5cts. We now bargain for a lot of larger rough and are confident that when spring comes we shall be able to cut stones of 10cts or more.
We keep you informed…