Tourmaline group includes a variety of forms and colors. Black Tourmaline (Schorl), Green Tourmaline (Verdelite), Rubellite Tourmaline, Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite), Paraiba Tourmaline, Watermelon Tourmaline, Pink Tourmaline, Golden Tourmaline, Brown Tourmaline (Dravite) are just few of them. While it can be found everywhere in the world, gem quality tourmaline is rare and expensive. Tourmaline is a mineral made of boron silicate and mixed with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. It is a semi-precious stone. Tourmaline’s name comes from Sri Lanka, where it was called tura mali, meaning stone of mixed colors.
Black Tourmaline (Schorl) – As one of the most beautiful black minerals, it may have a high gloss and form beautiful crystals. They usually appear as prismatic crystals with prominent striae. The crystals can also be short and prismatic. The size of crystals can vary greatly, ranging from very small crystals to crystals with a length of several feet. In some cases, it is possible for crystals to appear in two different parts of a matrix if their growth is interrupted. It is found in Brazil, Africa, Pakistan and US.
Green Tourmaline (Verdelite) – The green tourmaline spectrum is broad. Green is evident in some of them, but not in others, which need to be held up to the light to see a shade of green. Green tourmalines are available in a variety of nuances ranging from almost black to vivid green or subtle yellowish-green to olive green or blue-green. Most tourmaline gemstones used in jewelry are green. They are mostly found in Brazil, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa.
Rubellite Tourmaline – its pink color is very similar to Ruby, hence its name. It has vertical striations and it is found in prismatic crystal forms. It can be found in Brazil, Africa and US, California.
Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite) – with a name derived from “indigo” color, it is a very rare type, found primarily in Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.
Paraiba Tourmaline – Paraiba Tourmalines are also very rare, also blue, and they originate from Paraiba regions. Neon blue is the most desirable color for Paraiba Tourmaline. Both their type and hue are different than Indicolite.
Watermelon Tourmaline – this is a tourmaline type with pink center and green exterior, resembling a slice of watermelon. In the process of forming what was meant to be pink tourmaline, additional minerals such as manganese and lithium altered its color. A tourmaline of this type was first discovered in Maine in 1902, but it is also found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Madagascar, Afghanistan, and Australia. Minas Gerais, Brazil, produces some of the world’s best Watermelon Tourmaline.
Pink Tourmaline varies in color from pale pink to deep red hues. Its transparency also varies: it comes in all variations from transparent to opaque. It can be found in Brazil as well, and Africa, US California and Afghanistan.
Tourmaline is formed by hydrothermal activity. It is often extracted as a secondary mineral from metamorphic and igneous rocks. Tourmalines grow in cavities that have been once entered by hot fluids and vapors, and Tourmaline crystals will become as large as the cavity or void allows – sometimes up to 100 kg per piece. Mina Gerais, Brazil, is an important source of Tourmaline for a very long time.
Tourmaline, the Earth’s most colorful treasure, has a harness of 7 – 7.5 on Mohs scale and the widest range of hues of all minerals. It is a very valued and sometimes expensive gem. It is hard enough to resist in streams and it can be found as pebbles, as well as extracted through artisanal mining. Paraiba is the most valuable Tourmaline known nowadays. However, “Paraiba” is mostly marketed by the color, not origin. Bi-color Tourmaline is also very important both to collectors and to jewelry industry. Due to its pleochroic nature, tourmaline’s color, color intensity and brightness appears to change depending on the observation point.
According to a legend in Ancient Egypt, Tourmaline’s variety of hues is based on the fact that the stone travels on rainbow, collecting all colors along the way.
Symbolism: Friendship, Love, Money, Health, Power, Energy, Courage, Protection