My Favorite Gemstones Part 4 – Tourmaline

Another of my favorite gems is Tourmaline.  Since I love green and pink, I am particularly fond of the  multicolor and watermelon varieties.

tourmaline earringsThe tourmaline family aluminum and borosilicate minerals includes several separate minerals, one of which is called elabite.  Elabite is the mineral in most gem tourmaline.  Tourmaline has a Mohs scale hardness of 7 to 7.5 which makes it ideal for use in jewelry. Tourmaline is the traditional birthstone for October.

This gemstone is found is so many colors that it can mimic a black pearl and tourmaline necklacevariety of other gems.   Some tourmaline contains two or three colors.  The word Tourmaline comes from a Sri Lankan word meaning many colors.  In addition to the bi-color and multicolored varieties, tourmaline can be found in black, browns, blues, greens, red, yellow, and even colorless.    The colors depend on what particular trace minerals occur in a particular stone.   Tourmaline can also exhibit a “cat’s eye” effect  called chatoyancy or plieochroism – similar to that commonly seen in tiger’s eye cabochons.

Tourmaline’s protective properties:  This stone is considered to be a ready source of energy, strengthening your body and spirit.  Some people believe that tourmaline can encourage creativity.  Tourmaline has been used as a talisman by artists