I keep a pretty level head 90% of the time. It’s a true asset for running a jewelry store where the difference between right and wrong can be the thickness of a human hair. Every day, there are hundreds of decisions to make that often are minute.
I was going through our reserves of G-type style numbers for jewelry emails when I saw this necklace. I felt a sudden surge of sentiment and emotions when I saw it. I knew Sean had cut the gem. Sean Sweeney, America’s best tourmaline cutter and a good friend, cut the gem. Sean has since passed away.
Looking quickly, my first impression was that it was a forest-green Maine tourmaline. I looked at the price and was puzzled because it was a big gem and inexpensive. Then, I toggled back and forth, first thinking about losing Sean, then thinking about this awesome design and its beautiful gem. I slowed down and read the tag. It said, “World tourmaline,” and I remembered we, as a store, always keep a strict firewall up between gems mined in Maine and gems that come from other world sources. This was one of the three tourmalines in 25 years that we bought from Sean that were not mined in Maine.
The gem is pretty. I remember Sean’s comments, “It was a nice crystal. It’s a great color and great value. I had to buy it, and cut it with the twilight style of cutting.” He told me the price. It was a bargain. I knew I had to have it,,,, we bought it.
The second thing that caught my emotions was that we had set it into the Bar Harbor design. Sean lived in Bar Harbor. It was where his shop was and where he cut and polished gems. So this has a double symbolic meaning. Today, we are offering this historic piece, a World tourmaline cut by Sean Sweeney of Bar Harbor, Maine, set into a Bar Harbor design.
Why We Love This Necklace
Point of interest: Bar Island is just off-shore from Bar Harbor. You can walk out to Bar Island on a sand and rubble bar at low tide. The gem is called the Twilight cut, a special cut that allows light to twinkle up and down the length of the gem from very precise cutting that creates the phenomenon. This gem is set with a bar at the top and a bar at the bottom. The design is 14K yellow gold. The chain is 18-inches, which allows this necklace to come within two inches of your heart.
*Important Disclosure: We mine Maine tourmaline in Maine, just 28 miles north of our store. 92% of all tourmaline we show and sell is found in Maine’s western mountains. Every once in a while, we see a tourmaline found somewhere else in the world that is so fine, so beautiful, we can’t resist. This is one of those rare, choice World gem pieces. The 2.80-carat green World tourmaline in this necklace is not from Maine but from Mozambique, Africa. It was cut and polished here in Bar Harbor by Sean Sweeney.
Cross’ Maine and World
We at Cross think of ourselves as the center of the Maine tourmaline universe. We fancy ourselves to be World tourmaline savvy. We admit to keeping an eye open to tourmaline possibilities from outside our Maine borders because the gem tourmaline is the freest, most liberal, and most beautiful color expression of all gems known to mankind.
We maintain an absolute firewall between Maine-mined gems and alternative World-sourced tourmaline gems. We do this because it is vital to us, and we know it’s vital to you, too. We take the origin of tourmaline deeply, deeply seriously. There is never a pretend or an error. Everything is clearly marked and positively identified. Our firewall of source identity is absolute.