By David Brough
Victor Tuzlukov, one of the world’s most celebrated gem cutters, has applied his skills to add extraordinary value to two yellowish green tourmalines listed by supplier Ejder Kaya on digital trading platform Gembridge.
Tuzlukov, who has had a long and distinguished career faceting objects and gems, previously developed pieces for the Dalai Lama and the Pope. Some of his most remarkable creations are displayed in leading museums.
His latest faceting included a pair of exceptional tourmalines weighing 31.14 carats and 18.48 carats respectively, now listed on www.gembridge.com as lots 347 (https://gembridge.com/listing/347/ and 348 (https://gembridge.com/listing/348/
31.14-carat yellowish green tourmaline, Gembridge listing 347
18.48-carat yellowish green tourmaline, Gembridge listing 348
The two stones were cut from one single piece.
The larger stone is an oval novelty cut tourmaline. The smaller, fancy cut tourmaline exhibits a very open colour, excellent proportions, full dispersion and no extinctions, according to the Gembridge listing. Both stones have gemmological reports from GIA, dated 2021.
Tuzlukov explains what distinguishes his skills as a faceter of exceptional gemstones.
“My work usually has a mirror-like polish, which makes stones brighter,” he says.
“My ‘author’s design’ enhances colour due to multiple internal reflections, perfect symmetry and meet points. These two tourmalines are no exception.
“The bigger one has the infinity symbol cut on the crown. The smaller stone is a classical oval with a brilliant crown and mixed (brilliant-chevron) pavilion. This design gives good light penetration.
“Being parts of one crystal, these gems could be good for a couple, symbolising two parts of the one whole.”
Ejder Kaya, who commissioned Tuzlukov, said, “I am relatively new to the gemstone business, I wanted to work with the best people in the industry — that is how I found Victor. He is perhaps the best faceter in the world.”
Sometimes Tuzlukov’s work conveys a special message or symbolism, as exemplified by his “Philosophical Stones” collection.
He created an image within each gemstone representing a parable.
Perhaps the most famous one is ironically entitled “Winner.”
“A Lion face looks directly to us. The idea is that of a man fighting against Nature and winning, based on the power of his mind,” Tuzlukov says. “In reality he destroys his own home – a big home. And who is really the winner in this fight? That is what we are thinking about, as we look at the eyes of the Lion in the gemstone.”
Tuzlukov came to the world of gemstone faceting relatively late after receiving an education in marine navigation and later economics in his homeland Russia.
He discovered a fascination for gemstones, qualified as a gemmologist with GIA in Moscow and later received the guidance of an amateur cutter who paved the way for an international career that has since taken him to the top of his profession, such as winning the individual championship in Australia’s International Faceting Challenge in 2010, setting a new world record with 299.17 points out of 300.
In 2020, he set another world record in Thailand with the largest cut spodumene, a pinkish purple 3,051-carat kunzite.
One of the most celebrated gemstones that Tuzlukov faceted is called “Initiation.”
“Symbolically the stone represents the Kalachakra Mandala from Tibetan Buddhism. Each facet of this stone is connected with a Deity – an element of Mandala,” Tuzlukov says.
“722 Deities are represented by 722 facets. I worked on the design for more than a year, and at that time, in 2012, it was almost impossible for me to cut such a design: each step beyond the seemingly impossible changes me, moving forward the line of what is possible.
“The ‘Initiation’ gemstone was given to the Dalai Lama when we met in 2012, and a similar stone (the amethyst ‘Eucharist’) with 705 facets, was given to Pope Francis and is now in the Vatican Museum.”