Tourmaline is the official October birthstone. If you were born in October – or if you are just a gemstones lover as me, probably you would like to know a little bit more about the Tourmalines, one of the most beautiful and exciting gem in the world.
I will take advantage that is October and publish a sequence of information and interesting facts about the lovely Tourmalines. First of all, lets start with some basic knowledge to get use little by little to the gem.
The Tourmaline's name derives from the Singhalese word “tura mali”, which means “mixed stones”. It is really the perfect name for such a versatile gemstone, right? Yep, tourmaline comes in nearly every shade one can find on a colour!
Just some samples…
- Rubilite: From mid to deep reds resembling ruby
- Indiocolite: From bright blue hues to bluish green colours
- Chrome: Rich green
- Watermelon: Green skin and a red core
- Canary: Bright yellow tourmaline
- Paraíba: Rare blue-green. Amazing Bright neon hues.
And much more… just add the colour name + tourmaline….Purple, pink, black etc…
Here is a little bit about the Tourmalines gemmology: Tourmalines have a very complex chemical composition, and more than a dozen mineral species are recognized within this group. Their highly variable chemical composition gives rise to a wide range of colors. Tourmalines are under the category of Cyclosilicate
- Moh’s Hardness: 7 – 7.5
- Crystal System: Trigonal.
- Luster: Vitreous, sometimes resinous
Regarding the clarity, different varieties of tourmaline tend to have different clarities. Just a general rule, which I find interesting:
- Blue and blue-green colors: is common to find clear specimens.
- Red and pink tourmalines: in general show eye-visible inclusions.
Most common inclusions: fractures, liquid-filled healed fractures and needle.
Most tourmaline are untreated, although heavily included tourmalines, such as Rubellite and Brazilian Paraiba, are sometimes clarity-enhanced.
To my delight, gem and specimen tourmaline is mined chiefly in Brazil and Africa.
- Brazil: Almost every color of tourmaline can be found in Brazil, especially in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Bahia.
- Africa: Mainly in Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia. African Tourmalines are generally paler and less saturated than the Brazilian’s, although the material generally is less included.
In addition to Brazil and Africa, Tourmalines are also mined in USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Malawi.
If you take a look at our shop, you will find some nice samples of this beautiful stone!