Tourmaline - The Most Colourful Mineral And Gemstone
The Shades Of Tourmaline
Tourmaline refers to a number of related species and varieties of minerals. Even though Tourmaline has been known since antiquity in the Mediterranean region, the Dutch imported it in 1703 from Sri Lanka to Western and Central Europe. They gave the new gemstones a Sinhalese name “Thoramalli”, which is thought to mean “stone with mixed colours”.
Tourmaline is a reasonably hard gemstone (Mohs hardness scale – 7 to 7.5) and is available in a large variety of shapes, sizes and colours including, red, pink, green, blue and brown tones. The strong reddish-pink to red colours are known as “Rubellite”.
The most common source of supply is from Brazil and Afghanistan, African countries including Nigeria, Namibia and Kenya are producing small quantities of fine quality Tourmaline, although supply can be erratic.
There are many alternative gemstone choices that have similar colour & visual characteristics to Tourmaline. If you’d like to learn more about your best options or arrange a personal gemstone viewing in our Parramatta studio, please call us on (02) 9689 3396 or contact us here.
Yes, Tourmaline is moderately hard, but care must be taken not to impact the gemstone on hard surfaces as scuffing and scratching can occur.
Traditionally no, but it has become a popular alternative to Opal for the October birthstone.
Tourmalines will range between very affordable to moderately expensive depending on the colour and quality.
Tourmaline has one of the widest colour ranges of any gemstone; Pink, reddish-pink, green & blue in all shades & tones, and many other variations.