When the surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli saw the 17-carat vivid pink diamond her glamorous client Daisy Fellowes was wearing, she described its colour and size as “shocking.” And in 1937, when Schiaparelli created the Shoe Hat for Fellowes, the magenta of its heel was described as “hot” for all the attention it attracted. Thanks to these two women, we have two fabulous descriptions for a firty, sexy, racy pink—and what gorgeous gems there are to be deserving of such adjectives.
There is a clamour for hot-pink rubellite tourmaline, the perfect gemstone for women who like to stand out in a crowd. Large, good-quality rubellites with no visible natural impurities (what the industry calls inclusions) have a high value and are becoming rarer on the market, so snap them up while you still can. Prices for rubellite increased substantially when the stone caught the eyes of gemstone investors from Asia and more than doubled recently for gems of more than three carats.
About 20 per cent of the tourmaline from the Cruzeiro mine in Brazil, one of the world’s main producers, is rubellite, but only a few crystals are of gem quality. Many of the country’s older mines are exhausted, so gem hunters need to fnd collectors with old stock.
Rubellite crystals have a complex chemical structure and are coloured by small amounts of manganese, lithium and iron. It’s the different levels of these elements that produce the amazing tones, from soft pinks and bluish baby pinks to chocolate pinks and the striking watermelon pink and green gemstones. Indeed, watermelon, bi- and tri-colour tourmalines grow in every colour imaginable. As each gem is unique, fnding a matching pair for earrings is always a challenge.
Read more about the La Vie En Rose article in our May issue.
Text by Tayma Page Allies.