Tourmaline is the gemological name for an important group of complex gem-quality boron silicate minerals. Tourmaline gemstones can be found in all colors of the rainbow. Owing to its wide range of color availability, tourmaline is considered to be one of today's most versatile gemstones. Its name is thought to be derived from the Sinhalese word, "turamali", which means "stone with various colors" in reference to its extreme versatility. Tourmaline was first thought to be used as a gemstone around the 1500s, but distinct mineral species were not actually described until the 1800s. In 1875, George Kunz, an American mineral collector, introduced green tourmaline from the Mount Mica mine in Maine, USA to Tiffany & Co., which sparked an interest in tourmaline and led to its popularity (along with other semi-precious gemstones) on the mainstream jewelry market.
Tourmaline is actually a group of minerals and is a general gemological term used for several related gemstone varieties. Most types of tourmaline are classified according to their color. The following is a list of some of the most recognized and widely-used tourmaline trade names:
Achroite - Very rare colorless or almost colorless tourmaline.
Dravite - Yellow-brown to dark-brown magnesium tourmaline. Intense, forest-green gems are also known as "chrome tourmaline" or "chrome dravite".
Indicolite - Blue tourmaline.
Paraiba - Light-blue, blue-green, vivid blue or green copper tourmaline, named after the state in Brazil where it was found.
Rubellite - Intensely colored, red, pinkish-red or violet tourmaline.
Schorl - Black iron tourmaline.
Siberite - Lilac to violet-blue tourmaline, named after a deposit in the Urals.
Verdelite - Green tourmaline.
Buergerite - Iron tourmaline named after an American academic.
Elbaite - Lithium tourmaline named after the island of Elba.
Liddicoatite - Calcium tourmaline named after an American gemologist.
Tsilaisite - Manganese tourmaline named after a place in Madagascar.
Uvite - Magnesium tourmaline named after a province of Sri Lanka.
Watermelon tourmaline - Multicolored tourmaline that exhibits interesting pink, green and white color zones in the same crystal. When crystals are cut in cross section, a pink core with a white band and green edges can be clearly seen.
Cat's eye tourmaline - A rare chatoyant variety of tourmaline. The chatoyancy is usually strongest in green and pink tourmaline.
Tourmaline Gemstone Properties
Hardness: 7 to 7.5
Specific Gravity: 2.82 to 3.32
Refractive index: 1.614 - 1.666
Tourmaline Color & Occurence
Tourmaline can occur in a wide range of colors from colorless to black. Colorless tourmaline is considered to be the rarest, but it is also the least valuable tourmaline. Black tourmaline is actually the most common color occurrence. Most tourmaline gemstones display two or more colors in a single stone (or two tones of the same color). Tourmaline crystals that exhibit green on one end and pink to red on the other, with a band of white in the middle are marketed as 'watermelon tourmaline'. Tourmaline exhibits strong pleochroism, which means its crystals can exhibit different colors depending on the angle from which they are viewed. Most red, pink and brown to yellow tourmaline is colored by manganese, while iron and titanium can result in greenish to bluish-black colors. Lithium impurities can result in just about every color, including blue, green, red, yellow and pink. The rare emerald-green chrome tourmaline is colored by chromium (and sometimes vanadium). Many pink tourmaline crystals obtain their color though a natural irradiation process. Cat's eye tourmaline is typically green or pink in color, although it can also occur in other rarer colors too. The most valuable and rare tourmaline is neon green-blue Paraiba tourmaline, which is colored by copper. Other valuable color combinations include purplish-red 'rubellite' and blue 'indicolite'. When buying tourmaline, color intensity and saturation are the most important factors.
Today, the most significant tourmaline deposits come from Minas Gerais and Bahia, Brazil. Other notable tourmaline sources include Afghanistan, Australia, Burma (Myanmar), India, Italy, (Elba) Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, (Tessin) Tanzania, the United States (California and Maine), Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Healing Power of Tourmaline
In general, tourmaline is said to be a powerful detoxification stone that invites positive energy. It is also a birthstone for those born in October. Both green and pink tourmaline are said to encourage love and compassion. Violet tourmaline is associated with spiritual development and yellow is linked to the intellect. In addition, black tourmaline is thought to protect its wearer against negativity and brown tourmaline is believed to be a cleansing stone. Watermelon tourmaline is said to encourage unconditional love.
Mystical Power in Tourmaline
In traditional Hindu belief systems, tourmaline is thought to help balance the energies of the body. Tourmaline is thought to affect different chakras depending on its color. Red tourmaline is related to Muladhara, or the base chakra and is associated with sexuality, grounding and survival. Orange tourmaline is linked to Swadhisthana, or the sacral chakra, which governs relationships, the sexual organs, pleasure, enthusiasm and creativity. Yellow tourmaline corresponds to Manipura, or the third chakra, which is related to the digestive system, metabolism, anxiety and fear. Green tourmaline is thought to benefit Anahata or the fourth chakra, which is concerned with communication, thought, expression and the thyroid gland. Violet tourmaline is linked to Ajna, or the third eye chakra, which governs intuition, intellect and the pineal gland. Lastly, pink tourmaline corresponds to Sahasrara, or the crown chakra, which is concerned with consciousness and the pituitary gland.
Buy Tourmaline in Kolkata
A1 Gems is a gemstone shop in Kolkata, we have natural Tourmaline in stock which are certified, our Tourmaline are procured directly from mines and our natural Tourmaline are free from any treatment, if you want to buy Tourmaline in Kolkata then feel free to contact us at +91 94335 46997