One thing that can affect the colour and arguably the "quality" and price of a tourmaline gem is if it has what's called a closed "C" axis. What does this mean? Well, given a tourmaline crystal in its original shape, if you look down the crystal (as if you were looking down a metal pipe) and it appears black or very very dark, this tourmaline is said to be "closed", like pulling a curtain across a window. If you can clearly see down the crystal even though the colour may change slightly, eg. a pink tourmaline might look peachy down the "C" axis, it is said to be "open". When a tourmaline with a closed "C" axis is cut, the resulting gem will in all likelihood appear darkish, especially around the ends if it is a rectangluar design. All things being equal, an "open" gem should demand a higher price then a "closed" gem. You can see an example of an open "C" axis tourmaline in the rough here.
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