Tourmaline - Octobers Gemstone of a Hundred Hues

By: Sarah Stephens

Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone frequently incorporated into some of the most modern, beautiful handmade jewelry in the world. It is found in a wide selection of colors and shades, and is widely recognized as the October birthstone as well as the zodiac sign of Leo and the 8th anniversary gemstone. But beyond its modern-day uses and associations, tourmaline holds a decadent mythological, spiritual and etymological history that adds nostalgic value to its already strong aesthetic worth. Read on for more information that will help you fall in love with your tourmaline jewelry - or inspire you to buy some today!

The name Tourmaline comes from the Singhalese expression "tura mali," which means the "stone of mixed colors." Tourmalines are also known as the "chameleon stone," because they display a vast array of colors that are similar to several other colored stones. For example, Rubelite Tourmaline is named after its ruby red raspberry color.

Some Tourmalines can display two or more colors at the same time, such as watermelon tourmaline--pink on the inside, rimmed with green, exactly like the fruit itself! There are also varieties of Tourmalines that display color change when exposed to different lighting, exhibiting the phenomena chatoyancy. Around 1500 BC, A Spanish conquistador confused a green tourmaline crystal for an Emerald. In 1800, scientists realized that the tourmaline was a different species altogether.

Tourmaline gemstones look best as parts of formal evening jewelry when darker hued stones are paired with diamonds, quartz or pearls. More casual combinations include softer contrasts of green tourmaline with rose quartz; or blue tourmaline with green peridot; pink tourmaline with light aquamarine; yellow tourmaline with ruby. To see a selection of handmade artisan jewelry featuring tourmaline, click here. Tourmaline is typically considered a sophisticated gemstone that works well with any outfit. In earrings, tourmaline colors can be chosen to enhance the luster of blue, green or hazel eyes.

Tourmaline gemstones are believed to promote balance, love, friendship, and protection, in addition to physical healing and instill wealth for the wearer. Tourmalines are found in Brazil, and Afghanistan, in addition to Myanmar, India and Kenya, just to name a few.

Mohs' Hardness score is based on a 10 point scale where 10 is the most resistant, like a diamond, and 1 is easily scratched, such as Talc. Tourmaline gets a score of 7-7.5, meaning that it is quite scratch resistant and therefore suitable as a component of everyday jewelry. Tourmaline gemstones should be regularly cleaned by a professional or with a soft rag and mild soap and water. Other methods, including ultra-sonic clenares, solvents and harsh chemicals should be avoided when cleaning your handcrafted jewelry as exposure to these elements can damage semi-precious and precious gemstones and pearls.

Learn more about all semi-precious gemstones, including amethyst, apatite, black onyx, blue topaz, carnelian, chalcedony, citrine, coral, garnet, white topaz, crystal, diamond, emerald, iolite, jade, Labradorite, moonstone, pearl, peridot, prehnite, rose quarz, ruby, sapphire, smokey topaz, tanzanite, tourmaline and tourquoise when you check out this gemstone chart.

Jewelry
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Jewelry
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles