Tourmaline gemstone, color characteristics and prices
What stone is Tourmaline?
Tourmaline is a family of silicate minerals that includes a wide range of colorful varieties. These gemstones are prized for their beauty and variety of colors, and are often used in jewelry making.
the chemical formula of tourmaline can be represented as a compound of boron aluminum silicate.
Tourmaline generic chemical formula: (Na,Ca)(Li,Mg,Fe,Al)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)4
Some information to recognize Tourmaline:
Colors and Varieties: Tourmaline is known for its stunning range of colors. The most common varieties include black tourmaline (schorl), pink tourmaline (rubellite), green tourmaline (verdelite), blue tourmaline (indicolite), red tourmaline, yellow tourmaline and many others. Polychromatic tourmaline, called “watermelon tourmaline,” features a green and pink color combination that resembles the appearance of a slice of watermelon.
Hardness: Tourmaline is quite hard, with a hardness rating ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. This hardness makes it suitable for use in jewelry, but it is important to note that hardness can vary between different varieties of tourmaline.
Origin: Tourmalines have been discovered in many parts of the world, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, the United States and many other regions. The quality and color of tourmaline can vary greatly depending on its origin.
Optical Properties: Tourmalines often exhibit interesting optical phenomena, such as pleochroism, which means the stone can appear different colors depending on the angle you look at it from.
Symbolic Meaning: Tourmaline is associated with various symbolic meanings. It is believed to promote peace and tranquility, reduce stress, protect against negative energies and stimulate creativity. The different varieties of tourmaline can have specific meanings related to their colors.
Care and Maintenance: Tourmaline is generally easy to care for. It can be cleaned with mild soap and water and can be worn confidently in most everyday situations. However, it is important to avoid violent impacts as tourmaline can chip or break.
Use in Jewelry: Tourmaline is a very popular stone in jewelry making. It is often used to make rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, in both facet cut and cabochon shapes, depending on the variety of tourmaline and the desired design.
Where are the main sources of Tourmaline extraction located?
Tourmaline has been mined in several parts of the world, with some regions becoming notable sources of this precious stone. Some of the major sources of tourmaline extraction include:
Brazil: Brazil is one of the largest tourmaline producers in the world and is home to some of the most important tourmaline mines. States such as Minas Gerais, Bahia and Espírito Santo are known for producing tourmalines of various varieties and colors.
Sri Lanka (Ceylon): Sri Lanka is famous for its tourmalines, including rubellite, green tourmaline and other varieties. The city of Ratnapura is particularly famous for its tourmaline mines.
Mozambique: Mozambique is a relatively recent source of tourmalines, but has become a major producer of rubellite and other high-quality tourmaline varieties. The Montepuez district is known for its tourmaline mines.
Nigeria: Nigeria is known for its production of tourmalines, including green tourmaline. Oyo State is one of the tourmaline mining regions in Nigeria.
Madagascar: Madagascar is a source of tourmalines of various varieties, including rubellite and multicolored tourmaline. The Ilakaka region is famous for the production of tourmalines.
United States: In the United States, some mines in California and Maine have produced tourmalines, particularly pink tourmaline.
Afghanistan: Afghanistan is known for its production of tourmalines of various varieties, including black tourmaline (schorl).
These are some of the major sources of tourmaline mining worldwide. It is important to note that the quality and color of tourmalines can vary greatly depending on where they come from.
How much is a tourmaline worth?
The value of a tourmaline varies greatly based on several key factors. Here are some of the main factors that influence the value of a tourmaline:
Color: Color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a tourmaline. Tourmalines with bright, intense, and desirable colors, such as deep pink, emerald green, or deep blue, may have a higher value than those with less saturated colors.
Size (Carat): As with many other gemstones, size directly affects the value of a tourmaline. Larger, heavier tourmalines tend to have a higher price than smaller ones.
Purity and purity: The purity of tourmaline, i.e. the presence or absence of internal or external inclusions or imperfections, affects its value. Purer tourmalines without inclusions are generally more valuable.
Cut and Quality of Workmanship: The quality of cut and polish of tourmaline can greatly affect its appearance and value. A well-executed cut can maximize the brilliance and attractiveness of the stone.
Tourmaline Varieties: Some varieties of tourmaline, such as rubellite (pink-red) or verdelite (green), may have a higher value than other varieties.
Origin: Geographic origin can also influence value. Tourmalines from regions famous for their production of high-quality tourmalines may command a higher price. Paraiba Tourmaline, of Brazilian origin, has a separate and very high price.
Treatments: The presence or absence of treatments affects the value. Tourmalines generally do not have treatments.
Paraíba tourmaline is a very fine variety of tourmaline with an extraordinary color that varies between blue-green and neon green. The name “Paraíba” is derived from the Brazilian state of Paraíba, where the first tourmalines of this color were discovered in the 1980s. These gems are very rare and sought after due to their intense color tone.
Here is some key information about Paraíba tourmaline:
Color: The distinctive feature of Paraíba tourmaline is its exceptional color. It can range from a vibrant blue-green to a bright neon green. This color is due to the presence of traces of copper in the tourmalines, which interact with light to create the distinctive hue.
Clarity: High quality Paraíba tourmalines are extremely pure and free of significant inclusions. This purity contributes to their beauty and value.
Cut: A well-executed cut is essential to best show the color and brilliance of the Paraíba tourmaline. Often, these gemstones are cut to maximize internal light reflection and color intensity.
Provenance: Despite the name, Paraíba tourmalines are no longer mined only in the Brazilian state of Paraíba. New sources have been discovered in other parts of the world, including Mozambique and Nigeria, that produce tourmalines with similar colors. However, the original Brazilian Paraíba tourmalines remain the most prized.
Value: Paraíba tourmalines are some of the most expensive gemstones in the world, mainly due to their unique color and rarity. Their price can vary greatly based on size, purity, color and origin. Genuine Brazilian Paraíba tourmalines usually have a higher value than those from other sources.
What does it mean to give a Tourmaline as a gift?
Tourmaline is a gemstone with a variety of colors and varieties, each of which may have symbolic meanings related to its specific color. Here are some of the symbolic meanings associated with the various varieties of tourmaline:
Black Tourmaline (Schorl):
Protection: Black tourmaline is often associated with energetic protection. It is believed to repel negative energies and provide a protective shield to the person who wears it.
Pink Tourmaline (Rubellite):
Love and Passion: Pink tourmaline represents love and passion. It is said to promote loving relationships and strengthen the energy of love.
Green Tourmaline (Verdelite):
Healing and Wellbeing: Green tourmaline is often associated with healing and well-being. It is believed to help rebalance the body and mind.
Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite):
Communication and Clarity: Blue tourmaline is linked to communication and mental clarity. It is believed to promote open communication and mental balance.
Energy and Happiness: Yellow tourmaline is associated with positive energy and joy. It is believed to increase energy levels and promote happiness.
Multicolor Tourmaline (Watermelon Tourmaline):
Balance and Emotions: Multicolored tourmaline represents the balance of emotions. She is known for her pink and green striped appearance which symbolizes the balance between love and compassion.
Creativity and Joy: Paraíba tourmaline, with its vibrant and unique color, is often associated with creativity and joy. It is believed to inspire creativity and bring joy to the wearer’s life.
Iridescent Tourmaline (Rainbow Tourmaline):
Spiritual Evolution: Iridescent tourmaline is often associated with spiritual evolution and the achievement of higher levels of consciousness.
Black and Green Tourmaline:
Balance and Harmony: The combination of black and green tourmaline represents the balance between protection and healing. It is believed that it can bring harmony into the wearer’s life.
It is important to note that the symbolic meanings of tourmalines can vary between cultures and traditions. Furthermore, the personal meaning of a tourmaline may depend on individual beliefs and personal experience. So, when you choose a tourmaline or wear it, take into consideration the symbolic meaning it has for you or the person you give it to.
Famous jewels with Tourmaline:
Tourmaline is a versatile and fascinating gemstone that has been used in a variety of celebrated jewelry pieces over the years. Here are some examples of famous jewels that feature tourmaline:
The “Black Star of Queensland”: This is a very large black tourmaline (schorl), weighing more than 733 carats. It is one of the largest and most famous black tourmalines in the world and has been used in exclusive jewelry.
Paraíba Tourmaline by Tiffany & Co.: Tiffany & Co. has created extraordinary jewelry with Paraíba tourmalines, taking advantage of the vibrant and unique color of these gemstones.
Cartier Jewelry: Luxury jewelry house Cartier has used tourmaline in many of its iconic creations, including brooches, earrings, and necklaces.
Bulgari Jewelry: The Bulgari jewelry house is famous for its bold and colorful jewelry. He used tourmaline in many of his creations, often combining it with other precious stones.
Jewelery by Van Cleef & Arpels: The French fashion house Van Cleef & Arpels is famous for its high-end jewellery. He has used tourmaline in several collections.
Personal jewelry of celebrities: Many celebrities have worn tourmaline jewelry on important occasions and on red carpets, thus helping to make these gemstones even more famous.
These are just a few examples of famous jewels that feature tourmaline. Tourmaline is admired for its beauty and versatility and continues to inspire jewelry designers around the world.