As with most gemstones, ancient civilizations credited Tourmaline gems with magical
and mystical powers, including having the power to guard against danger and misfortune.
Tourmalines are said to have an especially strong influence over friendship and
love, lending permanance and stability to both. Tourmaline gems help to amplify
psychic ability / energy and are an excellent aid to increasing self-confidence
and understanding. Tourmaline is believed to help assist with tranquil sleep, calm
nerves, improve concentration and creative processes and to be an aid to curing
Achroite Tourmaline is said to be especially effective at helping the wearer achieve
a more harmonious relationship with higher beings / Gods.
Tourmaline is a very widely available gemstone, with deposits occuring the world
over. Whilst the occurance of very high quality, well-colored natural Tourmaline
is rare, modern gemstone enhancements and treatments ensure that heat-treated natural
Tourmalines are both available and priced at a level making them accessible to all.
Of the many Tourmaline varieties available, the occurrence of natural Achroite,
or colorless Tourmaline, is somewhat rare when compared to the other Tourmaline
There are known Tourmaline deposits throughout the world including, Afghanistan,
Africa, Brazil, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria,
Pakistan, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (California, Connecticut,
Maine and Utah).
Tourmaline (regardless of variety) is rated at 7 – 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness
and as such is suitable for all jewelry uses and is considered durable enough to
be worn everyday.
Found in an amazing variety, the sheer number of available Tourmaline colors is
second to none and unmatched by any other gemstone. Tourmalines can be found in
shades of blue, black, brown, colorless, green, orange, pink, red, yellow and other
colors in varying shades and hues, varying from completely transparent to opaque.
In addition to this there are also known occurances of bi-color, tri-color, multi-color
and “Cat's Eye” Tourmalines, ensuring that the Tourmaline truly is a gemstone that
is available in a color to suit all styles and tastes. Achroite Tourmaline is the
colorless, or near colorless Tourmaline variety.
A Tourmaline gemstone viewed from different angles will result in differing color
intensities being visible. The only one thing that you can be sure of is that the
deepest coloration will always be shown along the stone's main axis. When selecting
a Tourmaline, go with the color that you like but generally try to steer clear of
any stone that is cut too dark.
Arguably the most desirable and valuable Tourmalines in today's market are known
as “Paraiba” Tourmaline. These are vivid deep blue to bluish-green in color and
originate from the Paraiba state in Brazil. Expect to pay a premium for this variety.
There is also currently strong demand for the “Verdelith” Green Tourmaline and Pink
Tourmaline (Pink Rubellite). Demand is also increasing expotentioally for many of
the varieties of Bi, Tri and Multi-colored Tourmalines, most notably “Watermelon”
Tourmaline, which are bi-colored stones with a green border enveloping a red center.
Owing to the fact that Tourmaline crystals are long and narrow in shape Tourmaline
gems are most commonly, although not exclusively, cut into square or rectangular
Tourmalines are often heat-treated in order to lighten colors and to remove “silk”
(a form of natural imperfection / inclusion). Some colored Tourmalines actually
transform into other Tourmalines (most commonly the Achroite Tourmaline variety),
during this heating process.
Care & Cleaning:
Use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to clean Tourmaline. Ultrasonic cleaners
are generally safe. Never use chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid or ammonium fluoride
to clean Tourmaline because it can erode the stone. Much like many gemstones, Tourmaline
should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and light as this
can cause permanent color change.