T for Tourmaline

T for Tourmaline


Gorgeous gemstone of the widest color ranges. It will meet high expectations even of the most sophisticated gemlovers.

Description

Tourmaline exists in a dazzling range of colors: from rich reds to pastel pinks and peach colors, intense emerald greens to vivid yellows and deep blues. Many Tourmaline color varieties have their own names, for example: 

💎  Rubellite is a name for pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red tourmaline. 

💎  Indicolite is dark violet blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline. 

💎  Verdelite is a name for green variety of tourmaline.

💎  Paraíba is an intense violet blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil. 

💎 Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the center and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement.

Louis Vuitton rings with Indicolite Tourmaline

Some tourmalines demonstrate a cat’s-eye effect called chatoyancy. Tourmalines with this effect are most often of green, blue or pink colors. Like other cat’s-eyes, these gems are cut as cabochons to bring out this amazing effect.

Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline is one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world! 

This gem was discovered in 1989 by Heitor Dimas Barbosa – and immediately drove the world crazy. The intense hue of blue colour that characterizes the stone immediately caught the gemstone world attention. The natural color of this amazing gem reminds of beautiful tropical seas or clear summer skies. 

Normally, iron, manganese, chrome and vanadium are the elements that create the beautiful color of tourmalines. The Paraiba Tourmaline is different though. It owes its splendid color to copper, an element which had never been detected in a tourmaline before. 

At the first auction Paraiba Tourmaline was put up for, the price per carat raised from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of a few hours! This extraordinary gemstone is still incredibly popular. Because of its scarcity and beauty, jewel items featuring this stone are almost impossible to buy from a jewelry store, and a ring with Paraiba Tourmaline may cost up to several million US dollars.

Bvlgari Paraiba Tourmaline necklace

Mineral: tourmaline
Color: all
Mosh Hardness: 7-7,5
Origin: Brazil, the US, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Madagascar
Superpower: stimulates artistic inspiration and intuition
Birthstone: October
Anniversary: 8th wedding anniversary

History

Once upon a time, in the 1500s, a Spanish conquistador washed the dirt off a green Tourmaline crystal and confused this vibrant gem with an emerald. It wasn’t until the 1800s that scientists recognized Tourmaline as a distinct mineral species. 

Actually, the confusion about the stone’s identity is reflected in its name, which comes from «toramali», meaning “mixed gems” in the language of Sri Lanka. 

According to the ancient Egyptian legend, Tourmaline broke through a rainbow while pushing its way up through the earth – and hence its mesmerising color. 

For many years, China was the biggest market for tourmalines. Many pink and red tourmalines from California were shipped to China because the Chinese Dowager Empress Tz’u Hsi was especially fond of their color! There, craftsmen carved the tourmaline into snuff bottles and other pieces to be set in jewelry. 

Fun fact: Tourmaline can generate electrical current, especially when heated or rubbed. That’s why the Dutch knew this gem as the “aschentrekker” or ash-puller, and pipe-smokers of the day used heated tourmalines to get out ash from their smoking pipes.

Lucky charm

​​All tourmalines have been used since ancient times as talismans and amulets. For example, it is believed that red tourmaline helps to keep love. Lilac tourmaline relieves emotional breakdowns. Blue tourmaline  brings peace and tranquility and promotes gaining wisdom. Multicolored tourmalines are the happiest gems that simultaneously bring good luck, creativity and erotic impulses; they make life easier, brighter and joyful.

Tourmalines contribute to a good mood of people surrounding the owner of the stone. Moreover, tourmaline is believed to stimulate artistic inspiration and intuition. This gem’s been a trusted talisman of artists and writers throughout the history.

Quality factors

Color

One of the most popular tourmaline’s types is a red or pink variety known as Rubellite. Tourmalines of blue and green shades are also in demand.

However, Paraiba tourmaline of striking neon blue or green color still keeps dazzling the gem world. Prices for the best Paraíba tourmalines easily surpass other tourmalines due to their attractive hues, higher color saturation, and rarity.

Clarity

Tourmalines often have different inclusions. The most typical inclusions resemble thread-like cavities that run parallel to the length of the crystal. Growth tubes – long hollow tubes often capped with tiny mineral crystals are also common tourmaline inclusions. If they’re numerous enough,  they can cause a cat’s-eye effect.

Unless the number and size of the inclusions is distracting, dealers consider the color as the major value factor.

Although dealers usually ignore some eye-visible inclusions in tourmalines of strong and attractive color, gems with prominent inclusions are undesirable. 

Cut

Many tourmaline crystals have an elongated shape. As a result, there are many narrow and non-standard sizes of this gem. Although some are very attractive, many gem buyers prefer stones with standard dimensions because they’re easier to set in standard mountings.

Carat weight

Tourmalines in larger sizes rise considerably in per-carat price. Although tourmalines can reach spectacular sizes, these are rare. The price per carat generally increases as the gems pass the 5ct milestone.

Reuven’s comment

“A few decades ago, Tourmaline was neither popular nor in high demand. But then everything changed – today its price is steadily increasing.

On the top, of course, is the world renowned Paraiba Tourmaline – or just Paraiba. This magically colored gem sometimes costs more than diamonds. Paraiba is named after the deposit where it was mined, but which has already been exhausted. Therefore, Tourmalines of similar color are mined in Mozambique, Madagascar and other parts of Africa. Gems from these deposits are slightly cheaper but still their color literally drives everyone crazy.

Lagoon Blue Tourmalines – insanely beautiful stones of the sea water color – also increased in price by 3-4 times in recent years. 

The other variety of Tourmaline that is fashionable nowadays is the green Verdelite gem. Its price has increased by 2-3 times”.

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