Sunday’s Gem — Tourmaline

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist

Are you suffering from fear and anxiety? Need a dollop of self-confidence? Or maybe something to absorb the negative energy all around you?

Then find yourself some Tourmaline.

Some of the colors Tourmaline appears in. Image courtesy of the Jewelers of America.

Originally confused with other gems, Tourmaline encompasses a large group of boron silicate minerals that share chemical structure but vary in chemical composition.

Named from toramalli, meaning “mixed gems” in one of the Sri Lankan languages, Tourmaline wasn’t recognized as a distinct gem until the 1800s. Appearing in vibrant shades ranging from pink, peach, and red to yellow, emerald, black, and blue, Tourmaline also shows up in combinations of colors, the most popular being a blend of pink and green known as “watermelon” Tourmaline.

According to Egyptian legend, Tourmaline traveled from the center of the Earth through a rainbow, thereby claiming all those colors as its own. Shaman from African, Native American, and Aboriginal tribes used Tourmaline for healing and protection. Ancient Romans used Tourmaline to induce tranquil sleep.

Tourmaline is called the rainbow jewel of the gem world. These colored stones are courtesy of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

Brazil has been one of the world’s leading sources for Tourmaline for nearly 500 years. In the U.S., Southern California and Maine are the two leading sources for the mineral. Other sources include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Namibia, and Tanzania.

With a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (ranging from 1 to 10), Tourmaline is sufficiently durable for use in jewelry. Its popularity has soared since the 1990s — so has its price. In fact, a form of Tourmaline from Brazil called Paraiba (featuring vivid blues, greens, and violets) can command more than $10,000 per carat!

Faceted and polished Tourmaline from 0.39 to 1.46 ct from Brazil’s Paraiba State (photo courtesy of the GIA)

A popular stone, Tourmaline is readily found in jewelry stores. It’s a birthstone for the month of October and the traditional stone for an eighth anniversary.

Tourmalines are said to be excellent for balancing the Chakras. As you would expect, the varying shades correspond to the many colors of the Chakras: red-violet for the Root, orange for Sacral, yellow for Solar Plexus, green for Heart, and so on.

Likewise, Feng Shui experts believe different colors of Tourmaline utilize different forms of energy and should be placed accordingly.

Clean your Tourmaline in warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners aren’t recommended.

Note: The claims here aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. They’re based on folklore and other sources, and likely “work” best if one’s belief is strong enough!

33 thoughts on “Sunday’s Gem — Tourmaline

  1. Debbie, that is one of the many things that is so interesting about Tourmaline — the wide variety of shades, which are all so beautiful!

    “the most popular being a blend of pink and green known as “watermelon” Tourmaline.”

    Now that’s is something I never knew. You see, you always teach me something about gemstones. And it’s funny because green and pink are my two favorite colors.

    I have to say, though, the photo you shared of the featured vivid blues, greens and violets are stunning!

    And being that Tourmaline comes is such a variety of colors, they are the perfect gemstone for Chakra balancing during a Reiki session.

    As always….very interesting and informative gemstone post, my friend. And thank you!

    Have a great Sunday! X

    • Ron, I’m with you — those vivid blues, greens, and violets really grabbed my attention! I can see that Tourmaline would be a great stone for Reiki healing. I’ve heard of Tourmaline often, but I don’t guess I’ve ever seen a real gemstone quality stone. I’ll have to look, the next time I’m in a jewelry store.

      I’m delighted you found this post interesting and learned something from it. Thank you for sharing that with me! Here’s to a wonderful week ahead! xo

  2. I think these are some of the prettiest stones you’ve shared, Debbie. I was immediately taken with the pink and green striped one. The first thing that came to mind was the striped coconut candy we used to get. Then, when I read that it’s sometimes called ‘watermelon tourmaline,’ I thought, “Of course.” One of my favorite forms of early 1900s glassware it called watermelon glass; it’s a combination of pastel pink and green, too. Here’s an example. I have a set of wine glasses, but sold the other pieces I had. Sometimes I wish I had them back!

    • I’m so glad you liked this one, Linda! I lean more toward the vivid blues and greens, but I can see the appeal of the pink and green variety. I learned a lot writing this one. Who knew there were that many colors of Tourmaline to choose from? Thanks for showing me an example of the watermelon glass. I think I’ve seen pieces like that before, but I don’t have any. I suspect it’s more of a vintage look.

  3. I love those vivid blues, greens, and violets of the Paraiba Tourmaline. I can see why it must have been confused with other gems. It must take a lot of education to become knowledgeable enough to become a gemologist or even a jeweler. Thank you for this fascinating, informative post.

    • Thanks very much, Barbara. I bead a bit of jewelry when I have time, but it’s all costume stuff. These real gems are too precious for amateurs to mess with!

  4. Very pretty! And if it promotes good vibes, I should be wearing it! Sadly, I’ve barely worn earrings or necklaces at all since last March when I started working from home.

  5. Now I really did get an education here, Debbie. I have many gems and stones and I know tourmaline is one of them. Awesome information you gave. That blue is a wow for me …. reminds me of blue emerald I believe it is called. I have a crystal that is so powerful that it interfered with my garage door opener. I had to take it out of my car. It is for protection, especially from 5G. It’s called selenite. I have it in every corner of my home, all three levels and I have one right now as a pendent around my neck. It’s also for balance. I even won my hubby over as he is a skeptic when it comes to crystals. When he found out it’s frequency interfered with my garage door opener, he was impressed. LOL

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