Sunday, March 19, 2017

Baby pink and blue bicolor tourmaline turns out to be copper-bearing!

March 19, 2017, update:

OK, this is hardly a "timely" update, but here it is.  Last year, for Mother's Day, my daughter came from California for a visit (I moved back to the U.S. a few years ago), and we decided to go to Tyler, Texas, and stay at a B&B so I could take some of my stones to Richard Armstrong, RG, GG, GP ( so he could test them with his spectrometer from the Canadian Institute of Gemmology:

And what do you know!  It turns out that the blue portion of the tourmaline is copper-bearing and the pink portion is not!

Note that the colors in the photo in the original post are not correct.  I don't own a professional DSLR camera, and I don't know how to correct the colors in the images I get from my little P&S.  That is to say, the dingy brown should be gone from the photo below.  The pink and blue are bright and lovely.

So, what I am going to do next is send the stone for origin testing by the GIA.

Baby blue and baby pink iridescent bicolor tourmaline bought in Teófilo Otoni

OK, I admit it! I am a sucker for tourmalines, I really am.

When I saw this baby blue/baby pink bicolor tourmaline, I fell in love. The internal iridescence is just icing on the cake!


  1. Very nice, indeed! I can see why you fell in love with it.

    Iridescent tourmalines are so pretty, aren't they? I still haven't managed to get a nice one for myself, though.
  2. I just realised you are Alaiselena from mercado livre. You used to have some very nice stones (a miracle considering all the garbage there). I remember a lovely hemimorphite druzy in particular.
  3. Hi Beatriz, Thank you for the compliments.

    Yes, I once had very good stones there for very good prices; however, the consumers here were not able to recognize this, and sales became difficult when so many competitors selling worthless stones came on to the scene.

    I still have some of that druzy if you are interested. It is such an incredible natural color. I was worried that it was a dyed color, so I left those stones outside on a windowsill in the hot sun for 6 months -- no color fading at all!

    Oops! I think all of that druzy is now in Illinois. I visited my daughter in August and left most of my good stones there.

    I will be putting up some Mali grossular garnets on the Search 4 Gems site, as soon as my daughter can get them back to the U.S. in mid January.

    If you are in Brazil, perhaps I can put some stones on a flickr or picasa album for interested buyers here.

    Best regards,

  4. I am interested in the price of the blue-pink tourmaline. Is it for sale?If it has been sold, what did it sell for?
  5. Dear Anon,

    I am probably not going to sell the stone just now.

    This is due to the fact that it is strongly resembles the colors of Paraiba tourmalines -- that is, if you are familiar with a lot of the colors that show up in the matrix -- pink and blue. I am not talking about the good quality crystals that are cut and heated.

    When I saw these bicolored stones in Teofilo Otoni, it hit me right away that they could be from Paraiba. So, I got the biggest one -- it was not expensive, but of course we are talking about the price in Teofilo Otoni.

    I will probably send it to a friend who has a spectrometer to see what he can see.

    But thank you for your interest! I am having to set aside my gem studies for the moment due to taking a huge load of classes at university, but I will be free this summer to pursue gem interests, and I am very glad you reminded me about this tourmaline. I will try to have it analyzed. This should be interesting!

    Best regards,



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