A tourmaline tale of sad and glad
By the Cutter
She was a sweet saucy little blue green preform and I tried to ignore her. But every time I would look over my stock of smaller rough, she would grab my eye. But I was not doing ovals. But I had many more expensive pieces of rough that demanded to be cut. More mental buts later, I would have to admit that was certainly oval in all the right places and her fresh saturated color was very seductive. Her color even showed in shaded light and flashed in the sun’s bright smile. I had to cut her, but only under the right conditions. I wanted it to be special.
The polish wars swept through the land and the oval preform problem was silenced by meet point, so her time of transformation grew near. Still I waited for reasons that I will never understand. She was patience and on the third day of a cold thanksgiving weekend, our special moment happened. Wax was melted, impressions taken and the bond consummated. Setting the correct angles after taking her comely ratio, the grinding began. Set angle, change index, set angle, change angle, the work proceed into the night that comes so early this time of the year.
It was getting late and the last round of facets for the night were being cut with that fine lap, but waited something is wrong. I stopped leveling the girdle and really looked at her. To focus my gaze, I chanted in my mind; Do not be a slave to the numbers and open your eyes. I realized that the ends could not be right, but her middle looked good. So the end facets had the wrong angles, but by how much?
Of all the stones to waste away coursed threw the Cutter’s mind. Quickly dropping the end facets by a degree and she is looking better, but it is not right between us. More adjustments need tp be done, but the passion has cooled and the Cutter decides to take the walk. She assures him that tomorrow will be a better day. What needs to be done will be done, but the fear of a great diminished gem lingers in the darkness of the night.
And so tomorrow opens cold in shades of gray. Starting at the beginning she is prepared for polishing. She is being brave and tolerant of my trepidation. I speak out loud that I know what is wrong, but I don’t know how much. This reassures the assembled crowd of tourmaline that has come to see the historic moment in the cutter’s effort. The cutter conceals the fact that she has a good amount of thickness left for the crown and a recut if necessary. The center cluster of facets is set and the villains approached. I decide on setting the correct angle and adjusting as needed to bring the ends home. As the angles are laid in, I realized that it was coming out perfectly. I had eyeballed everything well enough last night, I did not have to recut anything.
Revelation and joy filled the day and I am thankful. I had been a turkey, but now I was redeemed. She polished easily and was graced with a step cut crown. With the depth I was able to conserved I am sure that she is a heavy weight in the world of color. The retention of weight may not be the principle effort of the work, but when it works along with an excellent cut it is wonderful. Who shall be next.