If asked to name a green gemstone most people would know of emerald. But there is another green stone much prized for its rich, clean green colour. Found mainly in Brazil, green tourmaline was especially popular in the first half of the 20th century and was often set in Edwardian jewellery.
The owner of this ring was unaware of the identity of the centre stone in her ring and was under the impression that it was emerald. As can be seen from the pictures taken before restoration the tourmaline was very badly worn; the facet edges of the stone were completely abraded and the stone looked very dull and lifeless. The stone owed its lacklustre appearance to many years of wear – if tourmalines have a fault it is that they are not as hard wearing as other better known gemstones such as ruby, sapphire and diamond.
The tourmaline looked like it had seen better days and, not surprisingly our customer wondered whether it was beyond help. The art of cutting and polishing gemstones is a skill which has endured for thousands of years. In the hands of a skilled lapidary a gemstone is brought to life as facets are cut to reveal a stone’s hidden beauty. In this instance the tourmaline was removed from its setting and our lapidary re-polished the uppermost crown facets to bring this stone back to life.
And what a difference! As you can see the ring has been restored completely; we have made all new claws, built up the settings and re-set all the stones. The tourmaline has been brought back to life and the ring now looks as it did when it was made all those years ago. Green tourmaline has been under appreciated in recent years but when it is seen like this one can’t help thinking that perhaps it is time for this beautiful stone to emerge from the shadows once again.