bi-colored elbaitebi-colored elbaite

Green Tourmaline and Rubellite: Emerald-Cutting Advice

Dark green tourmaline and red rubellite gems can look very black in an emerald cut. Learn how to minimize this effect and show off these rich colors best.

Question:Do you have any recommendations for faceting green tourmaline and rubellite gemstones into emerald cuts?
bi-colored elbaite
The tourmaline mineral family includes many species. Elbaite is one of the most common. This beautiful, bi-colored elbaite shows pink and green color zoning. Photo by greyloch. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0.

Answer:Emerald cuts tend to make tourmalines with dark colors, like dark red rubellites or green verdelites, appear even darker. Keep the end facets on the pavilion as steep as possible. 70° is good.

What if My Red or Green Tourmaline Has a Light C Axis?

Even if the tourmaline stone doesn't have a dark C axis, it tends to look black in the finished gem. Keeping them steep minimizes this.

Donald Clark, CSM IMG

Find Emerald-Cut Tourmalines in Our Photo Gallery

You can find examples of emerald-cut green and red tourmalines in our Gem Photo Gallery, like this 2.12-ct, blue-green tourmaline from Congo and this 3.88-ct rubellite from Nigeria.

More Emerald-Cut Tourmalines

faceted elbaites
Faceted elbaites, including an emerald-cut gem (left), on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Photo by Public.Resource.Org. Licensed under CC By 2.0.
emerald-cut rubellite tourmaline
Rubellite is a variety of dark pink to red tourmaline. Stones with ruby red color such as this emerald-cut gem are highly valued. Photo by Tim Evanson. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0.

International Gem Society

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!