Tourmaline is a natural gemstone that come is a wide variety of colors. Tourmaline has a long history of use in jewelry, and was even instrumental in the 19th century when chemists were experimenting with the polarization of light. Tourmaline’s colors have many different causes. It’s generally agreed that traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colors. Manganese produces reds and pinks, and possibly yellows.
Tourmaline forms in Pegmatites, hollow pockets deep in the earth associated with igneous rock. Crystal size is the most striking feature of pegmatites, with crystals usually over 5 cm in size. Sources include Brazil, the USA, Afghanistan and Africa.
Here is a list of the different trade names used for different colors of Tourmaline:
Rubellite is a name for intense pink and red, tourmaline, although some in the trade argue that the term shouldn’t apply to pink tourmaline. Lighter pink shades are simply called ‘pink Tourmaline’.
Indicolite is dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline.
Paraíba is an intense greenish blue or blue tourmaline that MUST from the state of Paraíba, Brazil.
Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s colored mostly by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds.
Parti-colored tourmaline displays more than one color. One of the most common combinations is green and pink, but many others are possible.
Watermelon tourmaline is both pink and green with one crystal
Dravite is the name for brown to yellow colored Tourmaline.
Schorl is the name for Black Tourmaline
I love making jewelry out of tourmaline because of it wide variety of hues and its high shine when cut and polished. Since tourmaline crystals are often well formed and terminated they are a fantastic stone for mineral specimens collectors as well.
Thanks for joining me on this journey deep within the earth!
Natural Blue Indicolite Tourmaline crystals
Natural Tourmaline Beaded Necklace
By Clare Thanahuser
Sometimes Tourmaline Crystals can form as inclusions inside of other kinds of rocks, such as these green Tourmaline crystals in Prehnite Matrix
10 cts Rubellite Tourmaline, Brazil
Pile of Small black Tourmaline crystals, also known as Schorl
Pink Tourmaline in pegmatite matrix, Brazil