-joe in NC.

Dear Arnold, Rung, Matt, and staff..
     I apologize for not getting back to you on my yellow tourmaline that I bought a few weeks ago. I have been wanting to give feedback, but I have been delayed.

    I have wanted to add something yellow to my collection, and I know that yellow tourmaline of gem quality (such as your item that I bought from you) really is. I have been on the trail for such a beast for a little bit, and it is very tough to find it in any appreciable size. Why? That rough generally is so included that its pathetic. It is also hard to get rough of anything in either yellow or gold in tourmaline. Anything past 1 carat in yellow or gold tourmaline that is clean is considered to be a collectors size stone. Usually what is out there are small accent stones that are quite lovely.

    Of the few pieces I have seen prior to my purchase, I have never really seen anything past 4 carats at the very most that was clean. You can find larger pieces if you dont mind something more moderately included. This is a very clean piece of golden tourmaline. Under the most direct light conditions, there is a pin head size dot on the table, and its not much more noticable under the loupe either. Under most lighting conditions, this stone is in fact eye clean.

      It had a considerably higher amount of tone than I expected, but I attribute much of that to my lighting conditions. If you look up the term cave in the GIA library, there is a picture of my residence there to illustrate the term. :) Once I realized that and got some better light on the stone, there were some interesting things about it that appealed to me.

      There is a pleochroic effect between yellowish green and slightly orangey yellow pending the light source. Certain fluorescent lights will bring out more green, and halogen brings out more yellow. Tourmaline always has some pleochroic effect to it, and this one is no different in that regard. It is something I like to see in tourmalines. I did experiment with it under different light sources.

    In my opinion, this stone appears better and purer in color with a krypton LED. Under that lighting source, the flash is a very pure spectral yellow like a lemon or some race cars. For brilliance, quartz halogen lighting will make the edge and flashes look like a firey yellow ember burning. When I say brilliance, I tried something a little unconventional with my light source.

    I have a mirrored turn table, and I placed the stone on that. I put a very high powered halogen lamp within a few feet of it to see what it looked like under different light. As the turn table rotated or as I rotated myself, the flash under the lamp was literally blinding from the pavillion facets. The refelction off the mirrored surface was not as bad as the pavillion was to where I couldnt stand to look at it. Granted, that is not the standard lighting nor is it a standard for grading. However, it does illustrate how brilliant that tourmaline can appear.

    For a 3.87 sized stone, this has a very nice spread. I know many will cringe when they see the verbige, "nice spread". I suspect that whoever cut this stone was faced with a daunting challenge of trying to cut something of gem quality without a window and perserving weight. Had this same stone been cut into an oval, it would have had a hideous window. However, its easier to maintain a more desirable angle with a radiant cut as with this tourmaline. That makes a world of difference, and whomever the lapidary was made a wise choice. I could tell that it was a challenge, and to get as much yield out of a crystal with such a narrow volume as clean as it is took some expertise. If it were anyone else, you would have been lucky to have gotten something a little over a carat or they simply would have made it into a cabachon. To pull this off with a radiant cut that doesnt have a window, thats skill-plain and simple.

    I enjoy doing business with AJS Gems as I add to my own personal collection. I think that this particular stone is one of many examples of what AJS Gems is noted for-accurate descriptions, quality cuts and material, and rare or exotic gem stones for a very reasonable price. Additionally, on occassion when someone asks about doing business with AJG Gems, I tell them that it is a very reputable and honest establishment. I just wish that there were more people like that here in the states that were as reputable and forthcoming as the staff at AJS is. As such, I already have some ideas as to what my next stone from AJS could be. Unfortunately, I dont have the money for it just yet.

 Thanks again..