History of Tourmaline Gemstones
Tourmaline gemstones have a vary unique color range. According to an old Egyptian legend, tourmaline passed over a rainbow as it was taking its long journey to the surface of the Earth In doing so, it assumed all the colors of the rainbow. And that is why it is still referred to as the “gemstone of the rainbow” today.
The name tourmaline comes from the Singhalese words tura mali. In translation, this means something like “stone with mixed colors,” referring to the color spectrum of this gemstone, which outshines all other precious stones. There are tourmalines from red to green and from blue to yellow. They often have two or more colors. There are tourmalines that change their color when the light changes from daylight to artificial light, and some demonstrate the light effect of a cat’s eye. No two tourmalines are precisely alike. This gemstone has an endless number of faces, and for that reason, it suits all moods. No wonder that magical powers have been attributed to it since ancient times. In particular, it is the gemstone of everlasting love and firm friendship. Others believe that it provides protection from radiation.
Physical Properties of Tourmaline Gemstones
Tourmalines are mixture crystals, but mainly of aluminum boron silicate with a complex and varying composition. Slight changes in the
composition cause completely different colors. Crystals of only a single color are quite rare, most exhibit varying degrees of colors. Its diachronic property is what makes the tourmaline unique. Whichever angle you look at the gemstone, the color may be different or more or less intense. It is always at its most intense when viewed looking toward the main axis, a fact to which the cutter must pay great attention when facing up the cut. This gemstone has brilliant wearing qualities and is easy to look after for all tourmalines have a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
Where Tourmaline Gemstone are found:
The green tourmaline is the most common color and known as a ‘verdelite’ in the trade. The emerald-like green color seen in some tourmaline gemstones is caused by tiny traces of chrome, it is referred to as a “chrome tourmaline.” The complete highlight among the tourmalines is the “Paraiba tourmaline,” a gemstone of an intense blue to blue-green that was not discovered until 1987 in a mine in the Brazilian state of Paraiba. Some tourmalines found from Malawi have a vivid yellow color, known as “‘canary tourmalines,”. The color yellow tourmaline are generally considered very rare.
The tourmaline are also know by a few other names: stones with two colors are known as bicolored tourmalines, and those with more than two as multicolored tourmalines. Slices showing a cross-section of the tourmaline crystal are also very much admired because they display, even in a very small area, the total of the unique color variety of this gemstone. If red it at the center of the slice and the area around it green, the stone is nicknamed “water melon.” In contrast, an almost colorless crystal surrounded with black is called a “Mohrenkopf,”.