“While at the gemstone fair, we look at thousands of stones. The assortment is endless, but we usually only end up with a handful of absolute beauties.” Paul van Muijden, Gemologist at Bron. The overriding selection criterion is the ‘liveliness’ and color of a stone. Not unlike humans, little natural flaws make the stone real and interesting. Tourmalines are a great example of this. Paul continues: “Back in Schoonhoven, after two weeks of traveling, our colleagues are always eager to hear what gems we got hold of.” At Bron, we love the countless varieties of happy, lively colors the tourmaline family has to offer. It’s also not uncommon two colors exist in one gem. Not without reason, the Sinhalese folk originally named the stone “turmali”, which stands for “stone of the mixed colors”.
Colors: All colors
Where to dig for it: Central Africa and Brazil
Mohs hardness: 7 - 7.5
The Mohs hardness scale
The Mohs hardness scale describes a scale from 1 to 10, which indicates the relative hardness of a mineral. Diamond is the hardest substance in the world and is therefore rated with the highest hardness grade of 10. To further illustrate the Moh's hardness it helps to imagine that a moonstone (hardness 6) is about as hard as the blade of a kitchen knife. A fingernail would only measure a grade of 2-2.5 on the scale.
At Bron, the hardness plays a minor role. Our overriding selection criteria are color and the ‘liveliness’ of a gemstone.