by Brooke Bartlett
Tourmaline is one of the world's most popular gems. It's available in nearly every color imaginable, which makes it a fun choice for any wardrobe. Tourmaline is also one of the birthstones for October, and tourmaline jewelry really suits any style and complements any outfit. Tourmaline jewelry is also durable enough for everyday wear, making it a popular choice for rings, bracelets and pendants. This gemstone jewelry is beautiful, elegant and incredibly versatile. Become enchanted by this gemstone with our tourmaline jewelry facts.
Colors: Tourmalines come in a myriad of colors, from brilliant greens to intense reds, as well as every color in between. Green, red and pink are the most common tourmaline colors while blue and yellow are quite rare. Paraiba tourmaline, discovered in Brazil in 1989, is the rarest color, and its vivid blue and green hues are highly sought after by gemstone collectors. Some tourmaline gems change color depending on the light. The challenge for stone cutters is to enhance the intensity of the color by using the best cut for each piece of gemstone jewelry.
Types: Tourmalines are not only classified by color, but also by how many colors appear in a single gemstone. Bi-colored tourmalines exhibit two colors, either on opposite sides of the stone or with one color surrounding another. Multicolored tourmalines feature more than two colors in one stone. The watermelon tourmaline is a popular example of a multihued variety. This rare gem has red or pink in the center and green around the outside.
Origin: Tourmalines are found all over the world, particularly in Brazil and Africa. Each deposit has its own color spectrum, due to the minerals found in each location. Aluminum boron silicate is the primary base of tourmaline, and other minerals, such as gold or copper, color each type of tourmaline.
History: Tourmalines can exhibit intense colors, and they are often easily confused with other stones. Many rubies have turned out to be red tourmalines, including those found in the 17th century Russian crown jewels. Ancient Egyptians appreciated the beauty of tourmalines and even explained their myriad of colors with a legend about the gems encountering a rainbow on their way to the earth's surface. Bring these legends to life by wearing tourmaline jewelry in your favorite hues.