What Would You Do With a 56.98 Carat Tricolor Tourmaline?



For the award-winning New York–based gem dealer and designer Jeffrey Bilgore, the answer to this question was specific, if not immediately obvious.

A store director contacted Bilgore in pursuit of a custom design featuring the magnificent Mozambican tourmaline pictured above after seeing it featured in another trade magazine.

“He told me he had a client who often traveled to Africa and loved Mozambique—the animals, the landscape, and the colors,” says Bilgore. “If I could get the gem, we would collaborate on a design.”

The idea for the project, and later, the finished jewel, was named Magic in Mozambique.

Bilgore and the retail partner decided to make a dramatic pendant to accentuate the magnificent tourmaline’s flashes of pink, green, and violet. But for a gem this rare and unusual, no ordinary setting would be suitable.

“Magic in Mozambique needed animals,” says Bilgore.

Jeffrey Bilgore Magic in Mozambique design sketch
The original sketches of the back, side, and front of the Magic in Mozambique jewel

A meticulously sculpted giraffe and crouching lioness were added to the sides of the setting. Meanwhile, the more they studied the gem, the more they saw the image of a sunset spreading out over the Mozambican landscape. So Bilgore placed a round raspberry-color diamond at the top of the jewel to capture the idea of a vibrant pink sun descending behind a golden tree’s textured branches and leaves.

Jeffrey Bilgore Magic in Mozambique tourmaline pendant
Described by Bilgore as a “passion project,” it took 12 weeks to bring the initial Magic in Mozambique concept to life, from the intricate goldwork in the setting to the sourcing and placement of the accent diamond.

As the finishing touch, the jewel was presented on a necklace made with multicolor tourmaline beads, all hand-selected to accentuate the individual hues displayed in the gemstone.

Jeffrey Bilgore tourmaline necklace
Custom Magic in Mozambique pendant necklace featuring a 56.98 ct. tricolor tourmaline in 18k yellow gold, Jeffrey Bilgore

 

Top: Jeffrey Bilgore deals in rare and exotic gemstones and sourced this magnificent tourmaline and oversaw its transformation into a piece of jewelry. Measuring 33.27 mm x 19.77 mm x 11.37 mm, it’s a sizable crystal with a fancy cut.

 

Follow me on Instagram – @aelliott718

All That Glitters writer