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Antique 18thC 1ct Tourmaline Ancient Greek Roman “Emerald” Gem of Rainbows .925 #58677

Cost: $ 139.99


Antique Eighteenth Century Genuine Natural Russian One Carat Regal Green Oval Cut Tourmaline Cabochon. Contemporary High Quality Sterling Silver Ring (Size 7 – Resizing Available).

CLASSIFICATION: Tourmaline Oval Cabochon.

ORIGIN: The Ural Mountains, Russia. 18th Century.

SIZE: Length: 7mm. Width: 5mm. Depth: 3mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 0.92 carats.

NOTE:
Resizing is available. 14kt solid gold setting is also available.

NOTE: If you would like only the gemstone, and not the setting, we can dismount the gemstone and offer you the gemstone without the setting. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the setting.

DETAIL
: Tourmaline occurred in many of the ancient mines that yielded precious gemstones in the ancient Roman world 2,000 years ago, however it was mistaken for (and thus called) emerald or topaz. Tourmaline was correctly identified and described in the ancient world by Theophrastus of Ancient Greece (student and successor of Plato and Aristotle) in 314 B.C. The name “tourmaline” came from the Celanese word "turmali," which means "mixed". Bright rainbow collections of gemstone varieties were called "turmali" parcels. In ancient mythology, tourmaline was found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow's colors.

Here’s a beautiful, regal green tourmaline gemstone from Siberia, the Ural Mountains of Russia. Gorgeous, vibrant, and richly hued, this striking gemstone possesses breathtaking luster and magnificent color. The gemstone was hand crafted by an 18th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. This lustrous semi-precious gemstone possesses a rich and velvety character. It is a nice quality tourmaline by 18th century standards. The gemstone is transparent, though inasmuch as it is so thickly cut and so rich in hue, you have to hold it up to a light source to see the light penetrate the stone. But when the stone does catch the light, the rich, dark, saturated green tone literally causes one to catch their breath. It is very beautiful.

The gemstone, though clearly not flawless, is eye clean at least to the view of the casual admirer. If you hold the gemstone up to a very bright light source and examine it intently, it is possible to ascertain a very fine seam of crystalline material within the gemstone of a slightly different shade of green. It is a very fine, wispy, almost ethereal seam, there but almost not. So by today’s standards it is not an exceptionally high quality tourmaline, though this tyhpe of blemish is exceedingly common to tourmaline. But by eighteenth century standards, this was a very desirable and expensive gemstone, quite characteristic of high-end antique Siberian tourmaline gemstones. So while you scrutinize the images so as to discern the blemishes this handcrafted gemstone possesses, keep in mind that the images we are sharing here are photo enlargements, so any blemishes the gemstone possesses are going to seem huge and prominent. In hand to the casual admiring glance these blemishes simply are too small to be noticed. 

Again, by eighteenth century standards, this was a very desirable and expensive gemstone. Even today there is substantially more demand than supply for tourmaline, and it is thus oftentimes can be quite costly and difficult to procure. However the Southern Ural Mountains of (Siberia) Russia have been producing quality tourmaline for centuries. Much favored by European Renaissance and Victorian Royalty, tourmaline tends to be characterized by the presence of small colorless inclusions which causes the gemstone to lean toward translucency in most specimens. Nonetheless tourmaline was held in such high regard by the (last) Empress of China, Tz'u Hsi, that she purchased bought almost a ton of it from a mine in California, and was eventually laid to rest (eternally) on a carved tourmaline pillow. 

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 18th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. The setting is of contemporary origin. It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. It is constructed of solid sterling silver. We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested. Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid gold.

This gemstone has great luster and color, and to the eye is completely transparent, but again, it is not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are almost indiscernible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". To the view of the casual admirer the gemstone is seemingly without blemish. However magnified in these photo enlargements, you can see slight blemishes within the stone. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic, as perfect gemstones are the realm of laboratory-produced gemstones, not Mother Nature. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. Of course, these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Keep in mind two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. For these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for miniscule blemishes and cutting imperfections which are inherent in antique, hand-cut gemstones, and which are by and large, are only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY OF TOURMALINE: Tourmaline's name comes from the Dutch traders who purchased gemstones from the Celanese (i.e., Ceylon or Sri Lanka). The word "turmali," meant "mixed", and the bright rainbow collections of gemstone varieties which the Dutch purchased were called "turmali" parcels. Tourmaline has been used as gem material for more than 2,000 years. Since tourmaline occurred in many of the ancient mines that yielded other precious stones, tourmaline was most likely known by the ancient Romans, but called other names such as emerald or topaz. In fact, through the sixteenth or seventeenth century, red and pink tourmaline were thought to be ruby. However one accurate reference to tourmaline in ancient history was by Theophrastus of Ancient Greece (student and successor of Plato and Aristotle) who in 314 B.C. accurately described tourmaline as becoming electromagnetically charged when it heated, noting that it would collect dust particles, straw and pieces of wood. In fact tourmaline can also become electromagnetically charged simply by rubbing it against one’s clothing, and the charge can remain for hours. There is also historical evidence which suggests that tourmaline was exported from Ceylon to ancient Israel as early as the time of King Solomon, and may have adorned the crown of the Queen of Sheba.

In the medieval world, alchemists believed tourmaline to be related to the philosopher’s stone, and as such could grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites and change base metals to gold. Tourmaline was also used by medieval shamans who regarded it a “receptive stone,” which means it was soothing, calming, inward, and magnetic, and thus promoted meditation, spirituality, wisdom and mystical powers. During the Middle Ages tourmaline was also thought to heal physical and mental disorders as well as prevent death. Ancient mystical ceremonies in India included the use of the gem as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good, and to make known who or what was the cause of troubles or evil deeds. As well, various aboriginal tribes such as the American Indians, Australian Aborigines, and various African tribes, believed tourmaline to be a talisman which could protect against all dangers.

Tourmaline occurs in more colors and combinations of colors than any other gemstone variety. In fact an ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow's colors. Green or "chrome" tourmaline was "rediscovered" in the seventeenth century. This striking green gemstone is colored by the mineral chromium; hence the name "chrome" tourmaline. German miners in Brazil exported green tourmalines to bedazzled seventeenth century Europe, calling them "Brazilian emeralds". Within a few decades tourmaline was also rediscovered in the country of Tanzania on the African continent. In the eighteenth century, it was eventually realized that the "Brazilian emeralds" had unusual electromagnetic qualities, and were not emeralds at all.

Pink tourmaline was held in such high regard in Ancient China that Empress Tz'u Hsi, the last Empress of China, who loved pink tourmaline, bought almost a ton of it from the Himalaya Mine in California, and was eventually laid to rest (eternally) on a carved tourmaline pillow. In fact the Chinese have engraved and carved figures and snuff bottles from tourmaline for many centuries, and ancient examples are displayed in museums around the world. Many stones in the Russian Crown jewels from the 17th Century once thought to be rubies and emeralds are actually tourmalines. Chrome tourmalines are relatively uncommon gemstones, costly, and in scarce supply. They were considered the rarest variety of tourmaline until in 1989 very small quantities of even rarer Paraiba neon blue-green was discovered in Brazil, which sells for as much as $20,000 per carat. The most popular color is peach (or pink) tourmaline, and one of the most famous mines in the world, played out and closed in 1913, was in California.

Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. The ancient world regarded tourmaline helpful to artists, authors, actors and those in creative fields, enhancing their creative powers. Tourmaline was believed to possess many medicinal properties, including its ability to to cleanse, maintain, and stimulate the energy centers of the body. It was also reported in an 18th century Dutch medical journal that tourmaline wrapped in silk and placed against the cheek of a feverish child would induce sleep. Tourmaline is still regarded as an aid for keeping the digestive system healthy as well as strengthening teeth and bones. It is also recommended for adrenal disorders, heart disease, arthritis, and used to treat stress and trauma.

In regards to its metaphysical properties, tourmaline was believed to attract inspiration, to diminish fear, and encourage self confidence, enthusiasm, constructive thinking, and to assist the wearer avoid bad luck and negativity. It was regarded as conducive to promoting peaceful communication between the conscious and unconscious minds, allowing psychic awareness to blossom. Tourmaline was regarded as a stone of reconciliation, a stone that fostered compassion and cool headedness, radiated the energy that attracted money, healing and friendship, and was used for “grounding” purposes, to stabilize, and reaffirm one’s “roots”. Pink tourmaline in particular was believed to be of great value to people that had difficulty dealing with fear, who had panic attacks or who were in need of something to help them heal their inner chaos and dread. It was regarded as a heart protector as well as an aphrodisiac, and was believed to provide reassurance that it was safe to love and therefore instilled confidence.

 

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