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Tourmaline Gem | What is Tourmaline?

Tourmaline is a semiprecious gemstone , found in a variety of colours. The gemstone covers the entire ambit of rainbow pallet, a reason why it is also called the Rainbow Stone. Ranging from Blue, Green, Pink, Purple/Violet, Red, Yellow, Brown, Black, the desirable Tourmaline stone is also available in rare White/Colourless colour. Black Tourmaline is most common and popular, followed by Pink colour. The dazzling colours of the Tourmaline stone have made it popular for making jewellery, down the ages.

The term 'Tourmaline' comes from the word 'turamali', an ancient Sinhalese word, meaning, "mixed gems" or "a precious stone of mixed colours", the name was in Sri Lanka, in the past, to describe the Tourmaline stone. It is a gemstone bestowed with many attributes for healing emotionally, mentally, physically, and also materialistically.Each colour of Tourmaline has its individual properties of healing too, along with the basic Tourmaline properties.

Where is Tourmaline Stone Produced?

Dutch traders first spotted Tourmaline in the West coast of Italy and mistook them for Rubies. Tourmaline is found in countries spread across the World, namely, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, America and in African countries, like, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique etc. Today Brazil is the largest producer of the attractive gemstone.

History of Tourmaline

A Spanish conqueror discovered Green Tourmaline in Brazil but it was mistaken as Emerald and much later it was identified as Tourmaline with its properties. Often Tourmaline was thought to be Ruby, because of the bright Pink/Red colour, when it was found by Dutch traders. They used it to clean their Meerschaum pipes (smoking pipes), by pulling the ash from it, as the stone had the quality to get electrically charged and could attract dust particles. The Ruby gemstone on the Russian Crown, were actually Tourmaline. Later the gemstone was exported to China from America, Chinese have been using Tourmaline prolifically for carving statues/figures, snuff boxes and other items. In ancient India Tourmaline was used in ceremonies as a mode to understand or look deeper into things. Africans used Tourmaline to get out of illusionary dreams.

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Properties and Types of Tourmaline Gemstone

The attractive Tourmaline has a complex mineral composition, which is primarily Boron Silicate that combines with Magnesium, Aluminium, Iron, Lithium, Sodium, Potassium and in rare cases Copper, each of which contribute to the colour of Tourmaline. Considered to be one of the most complex Crystal structures, Tourmaline measures between 7 to 7.5 on Mohs scale. Tourmaline can be transparent or translucent to opaque. The lustre of Tourmaline stone is a striking feature it possesses. The Rainbow Stone or Tourmaline may also come in mixed colour, meaning it may have a Pink or Green in centre and as it rises in length or spreads, may have Black or Blue in the outer side. Sometimes the colour combinations may look odd but are attractive anyway.

An interesting physical property of Tourmaline is its capability to get electrically charged if heated or rubbed. Because of the polar structure of the stone, it has both pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties, that causes this phenomenon. It was observed by the Dutch that Tourmaline when heated can attract dust and on cooling leaves the dust. The Piezoelectricity quality varies in the different types of Tourmaline, such as, in Elbaite this quality is lesser compared to Dravite. Tourmaline is formed in Pegmatites, which are empty spaces deep inside the Earth and usually form in metamorphic and ingenious rocks. Formed by Volcanic Lava, which is rich in minerals, Granite rocks are often the host for Tourmaline.

Types of Tourmaline Gemstone

There are various types and numerous colours of Tourmaline, based on which different trade names have been given to this versatile stone.

1) Black Tourmaline - Most widely available and popular among Tourmaline, its trade name of Schrol. It is famous as a protective and grounding stone. It ranges from Brownish Black to Black colour.
2) Pink Tourmaline - Also known as Rubellite, Pink Tourmaline is the stone for healing the heart, bringing in compassion, unconditional love. It works to help you release unwanted emotions. Brazil produces some of the best quality Pink Tourmaline.
3) Green Tourmaline - The Green Tourmaline is used for healing physical ailments and emotional issues. It is known as Verdilite and also called Brazilian Emerald, because of its similarity in appearance to Emarald. In Vedic Astrology, Green Tourmaline is connected to the Planet Budh or Mercury and when worn gives relief from ill effects of malefic Mercury. Green Tourmaline has the property of attracting prosperity, heals relationships and bestows other benefits.
4) Light Blue Tourmaline - Ranging from Light Blue to Greenish Blue, it is also known as Indicolite. It is the most rare of the Tourmalines. The Blue/Light Blue Tourmaline is endowed with the healing property of clearing communication problems and helping to speak clearly, eloquently.
5) Watermelon Tourmaline - Admired and appreciated, this stone looks like a slice of the delicious fruit Watermelon, Pink in the centre, spreading out to Colourless and Green on the outside. It rejuvenates the Heart, brings joy, self confidence, love for self and sparks the spirit of adventure. Brazil, Afghanistan, USA, Madagascar and Nigeria produce this fruity Gemstone.
6) Brown Tourmaline - Also known as Dravite, the Brown Tourmaline is found in dark Yellow to deep Brown in colour. Possessing excellent grounding attributes, it anchors our energies, provides stamina, protects etc.
7) Purple Tourmaline - The Purple Tourmaline with its lustrous colour, enhances creativity and intuitive powers and gives a sense of freedom. Purple Tourmaline is known as Siberite.
8) Rainbow Tourmaline - A riot of colours, the Rainbow Tourmaline is a stone which lifts away stress, anxiety making you calm. Wearing this Tourmaline helps to provide relief in migraine, neuralgia etc.

Natural Tourmaline Health and Healing Benefits

The lustrous natural Tourmaline stone has gentle healing properties which acts to improve or heal your health and physical self.

  • The stone is known to heal stomach problems, improves digestion.
  • Tourmaline is said to boost the immune system and nervous system, which goes a long way in maintaining good health.
  • Teeth or Bones are made strong by Tourmaline.
  • The stone is a good energy booster and also helps manage the body's energy efficiently. Green Tourmaline, in particular eliminates tiredness and chronic fatigue.
  • It brings respite in condition of Dyslexia.
  • The Tourmaline stone acts as an aid to youthful, bright skin by revitalising it.

Benefits of Wearing Tourmaline Gemstone

Genuine, natural Tourmaline with its myriad of colours is a brilliant stone which is worn as Rings, Bracelets, Lockets/Pendants, Necklaces. When worn Tourmaline benefits on a physical, mental and emotional level. The various colours of Tourmaline Gemstone acts on the different Chakras of the body as per their colour and has different beneficial properties You can choose the colour of Tourmaline you wish to wear or consult an expert to take advantage of its healing properties.

  • Tourmaline balances energies, which establish inner and outer balance.
  • It aids in making you flexible and adapt to situations and circumstances.
  • Wearing Tourmaline grounds your energies and makes you feel stable.
  • Pink and Green Tourmaline stone are great for healing the Heart and emotions. They bring in love, compassion, open the Heart, and allow unconditional love to flow.
  • Almost all Tourmaline colours are good for protection, with Black Tourmaline being the most popular for this quality and favoured by healers.
  • Different Tourmaline colours are used for Chakra healing therapy as they act on the particular Chakra corresponding to its colour, cleanses and aligns it to heal the various aspects of life connected to the Chakra.
  • Tourmaline can keep you on track and help you maintain focus to achieve your goal.
  • Tourmaline acts as a stress buster, and naturally calms down the person.
  • It ushers in energies of prosperity, especially Green Tourmaline.
  • Relationships heal and become harmonious, when Green, Pink or Watermelon Tourmaline is worn.
  • Tourmaline cleanses negative energies and draws positive ones. They are worn by healers to have the desired effect.
  • Wearing Tourmaline enhances your intuitive powers, especially if you wear Purple/Violet or the rare Blue Tourmaline.

Natural Tourmaline Gemstone Prices and Buying Guide

While selecting Tourmaline Gemstone, there are a few tips with which you can ensure that it is natural, genuine Tourmaline that you are buying.

1) Hold the Tourmaline and check for inclusions, if they are present, it is a genuine stone. Inclusions in Tourmaline are present almost towards the surface of the stone. A clear Tourmaline, without inclusions, may not be Tourmaline.

2) Since Tourmaline is a hard stone, it does not scratch, so you may test it for scratch, in presence of the seller.

3) When Tourmaline stone is held against artificial light, it will show a colour change, which is another proof of natural, genuine Tourmaline stone.

The Tourmaline gemstone price depends on its Colour, Cut, Clarity. The colour factor of Tourmaline holds prime importance in deciding the cost of the stone. The more intense the colour, the higher is its price. Black, Green and Pink Tourmaline are more easily available and therefore less costlier than Watermelon Tourmaline, Blue and Chrome Tourmaline. Cloudiness in appearance fetch lesser price as far as clarity is concerned. The Black Tourmaline or Schrol is rated by smoothness of its surface.

The weight in Carats of the Tourmaline majorly determines its cost too.

The lustrous Tourmaline stone look is enhanced by its cuts. The more popular cuts like the Emerald cut, round cut are easy on the pocket compared to its more stylish counterparts.

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