New!! Fantastic Selection of a Variety of Tourmaline Gemstones
AfricaGems has just received an amazing collection of the finest quality Rubelite
, Blue Green
, and Pink
Tourmaline gemstones. These sought after stones display high levels of clarity, skillful cuts, as well as jaw-dropping color and brilliance. Perfect for any custom jewelry creation, you'll find something for every flavor in this shipment. With terrific prices, these guys can't be beat! Be sure to check out the new Tourmaline Matched Pairs
as we just received many sets of glorious gems just waiting to be set into your ideal pair of earrings!AfricaGems = Finest Tourmaline Collection Available Anywhere
The size and quality of this incredible natural tourmaline
collection is really unprecedented. We have just brought into our tourmaline gemstone inventory over 200 additional super fine quality loose tourmaline gemstones in the following color types; Green Tourmalines - Blue-Green Tourmalines - Fancy Colored Tourmalines. These new loose tourmalines have been selected for1. TOP COLOR:
meaning that none of these gems appear inky or have dark areas, even in the lowest lighting conditions which is rare in tourmalines. 2. EXCELLENT CUTTING:
The quality of the cutting is top notch. You won't see bulgy or lumpy tourmalines here. All of these gems have very good to excellent proportions which excellent facet alignment and polish.3. GOOD SIZES:
All of our special tourmaline gems are of good sizes, with many being in the sweet spot for perfect ring
sized gems.**NEW** Spectacular Array of Fine Pink, Rubelite, and Blue Green Tourmaline Natural Gemstones
A magnificent collection of finest quality Pink Tourmaline, Rubelite Tourmaline, and Blue Green Tourmaline genuine
gemstones has just arrived here at AfricaGems. These luscious gems display breath-taking beauty, eye-catching color, and impeccable, skillful cuts. We’ve also received several extremely well-matched pairs in glorious shades of Blue Green, Pink, and Pinkish Red. These fabulous gems will make a happy addition to any custom jewelry creation. Come check out our new inventory today!**Just In** Gorgeous Array of Green Tourmaline Loose Gems and Matched Pairs
AfricaGems has just received a selection of the finest quality Green Tourmaline gemstones. This new colection boasts many gems perfect for your ideal custom jewelry creation including some larger stones perfect for pendants and rings as well dazzling matched pairs ideal for earrings. These Brazilian beauties boast high clarity ratings as well as excellent, skilled cuts and sought after shapes. With a range of light, medium, and deep green tone, there is a gem for every color palate! Enjoy this fine collection! New!! Fantastic Assortment of Chrome and Bi Color Tourmaline Gemstones
A stunning array of finest quality Chrome and Bi Color Tourmaline Gemstones have just arrived at AfricaGems. These magnificent gemstones display high clarity rating, superb levels of brilliance, as well as fabulous color and shape. With sought after shapes and cuts, these gems are sure to steal the show. Our new Chrome Tourmalines display dazzling grassy and forest green hues, bright with internal light. The fascinating Bi Color Tourmalines proudly boast their unique dual color appearance. With a range of prices for every budget, you're sure to find something for your ideal piece of jewelry. We have some serious show stoppers here-- Enjoy!
Extraordinary Fine Loose Tourmaline Gemstones Just Added!
Check out Our New Shipment of Hundreds of Free Sized Tourmalines. We added amazing some incredible quality tourmaline stones in blue
green tourmaline, pink
tourmaline, red tourmaline, bi color tourmalines and green tourmalines. In addition we have also added some spectacular fine matched pairs in pink
, red and green tourmaline varieties. Natural Tourmaline Gemstones like Bronze, Earth, Golden and Olive Tourmaline. Make sure to check out Paraiba Tourmaline, Chrome Tourmaline and Pink Tourmaline gemstone sections to see the New beautiful gemstones that we just added. Pick out a discount loose Tourmaline for your dream jewelry.
**Just IN!** Highest Quality Beautiful Blue Tourmaline Gemstones
AfricaGems has just received a stellar collection of vivid Blue Tourmaline loose gemstones and matched pairs. These faceted beauties hail mainly from Afganistan and Africa. With gorgeous shades of seafoam blue
to shimmering sky blue, these masterpieces of nature leave little to be desired. Whether you are shopping for that perfect center stone, or a magnificent pair to set into your ideal earrings, there is something for you here at AfricaGems! All of these new additions boast clarity ratings of Eye Clean Plus and are cut to impeccable standards. Enjoy!
The Wonderful Gemstone Called Tourmaline
Tourmaline is truly a magical mystical gemstone. Tourmaline is a gemstone species that comes naturally in the most colors and nuances of colors, more than any other gemstone, except perhaps diamond
. It can even be found with multiple colors in one gemstone. That is hard to
top and it makes tourmaline an exceptional gemstone. Like garnet
, tourmaline is actually a family of gemstones. And like garnet it has been under appreciated until fairly recently; the definition of recently in this case is the 20th and 21st centuries and even then, it wasn’t until the latter part of the 20th century that tourmaline became a gemstone for more than the gemstone connoisseur or wealthy collector.History of The Tourmaline Gemstone
Obviously, tourmaline has been hanging around in the earth’s crust for millions of years. There have been references to it for thousands of years dating back to ancient Egypt. Imagine if you will tourmaline gemstones exported from Sri Lanka to the kingdom of King Solomon.
There is some evidence to suggest that happened. There is also some evidence that tourmaline adorned the crown of the Queen of Sheba. The likeness of Alexander the Great has been found carved in tourmaline dating back to around the second or third century B.C. Starting around 1703
tourmaline was imported by Dutch East India Company into Europe.
Russian crown jewels were adorned with red tourmalines instead of rubies
. Some were originally thought to be ruby
but we now know they are tourmaline. What a wonderful testament to rubelite
tourmalines. It is said that in the early 1900s the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi, the last Empress of China, was such a lover of pink tourmaline that she imported it from California, from the Himalaya Mine. Some believe that she had a pillow carved out of pink tourmaline on which her head would rest for all eternity. It is said she was buried covered in diamonds
and with her pink tourmaline pillow in 1908. The ancient Chinese carved tourmaline into figurines and even carved it into exquisite intricate snuff bottles.
Black tourmaline became popular for a time in Victorian mourning jewelry and it was sometimes used in place of jet or chalcedony.
Through thousands of years green tourmaline was often thought to be emerald
and red tourmaline was often thought to be ruby. It wasn’t until the invention of chemical analysis that we began to understand the complexity of tourmaline. Believe it or not, we are still discovering new colors of tourmaline. The late 1900s brought new discoveries of new colors of tourmaline to the marketplace.
So where did the name tourmaline come from? Most will attribute the name to the Sinhalese word “tora malli” (turmali) which referred to any yellow
, green or brown stone and literally means "something out of the earth". Exactly when that translation of the Sinhalese word happened is not completely clear.Tourmaline Lore, Mystical Properties and “New” Uses
Besides being some of the most beautiful of gemstones in the world, tourmaline has some unique properties. Through the ages, most gemstones have been
ascribed properties for healing or empowerment or protection. The interesting thing is scientists are finding that tourmaline really does have properties that actually can benefit us scientifically, industrial and technologically.
When tourmaline is heated or by applying pressure by vigorously rubbing it gets “charged”. The methods of charging a tourmaline are known as pyroelectricty and piezoelectricity respectively. One end of the stone will show a positive charge and the other a negative. What is fascinating is that the polarity will change as the stone cools. The very first reference to the pyroelectric effect may be found in the writings of Theophrastus in 314BC. He noted that tourmaline attracted bits of straw and ash when heated. This discovery faded into obscurity for centuries. It is believed that this strange characteristic was re-discovered by a few Dutch jewelers heating gemstones to test their hardness.
After the heating the jewelers noticed the stones attracted or repelled the fire’s ashes. An unusual use of the gemstone came from that discovery, using them to pull the ashes from their meerschaum pipes. Tourmalines were called aschentrekker (ash puller) and it seems that
name stuck and became the proper name for the gemstone for a period of time. The scientific fascination with tourmaline’s unusual properties didn’t end with pulling ashes from pipes. In the mid-1700s, Benjamin Franklin
used tourmaline in some of his experiments in the then unexplored field of electricity. And that was just the beginning of the fascinating uses for tourmaline. Slices of tourmaline were used in earlier polariscopes which were used to identify optic character of gemstones being evaluated and helping to identify what type of gemstone they were evaluating. It has been used in the calibration of manometers (a type of pressure measuring instrument), in sonar and in piezoelectric transducers.
For thousands of years tourmaline has had many metaphysical uses. It is supposed to improve circulation, reduce stress, breakup energy blockages, clear up confusion, expand ones thinking, help with emotional healing loss and more. Depending on the color of the tourmaline, it is supposed to protect against negativity, bring peace, balance and emotional purification. To say nothing of assisting in energizing the central nervous system and help with problems with the lungs.
These old beliefs may not be far off. Tourmaline gives off negative ions and far infrared rays (invisible waves of energy) as part of its electric “personality” and many believe that these properties are beneficial to humans. Think about how peaceful you can be when sitting next to a
waterfall or when watching the ocean waves crashing on the shore. There have been studies done that indicate that people benefit from the negative ions created by the action of water pounding on the shore or falling on the rocks. Studies also indicate that negative ions can help
relieve depression. Far infrared rays are invisible waves of energy that may help increase blood flow and a may even
help remove toxins from the blood. Positive ions create free radicals which can be harmful to our health but tourmaline converts moisture in the air into negative ions thereby negating the free radicals. Because of tourmalines ability to create negative ions and far infrared ray, crushed tourmaline has uses in everything from hairdryers and hair styling brushes (yes it really helps makes hair silky and shiny) to clothes to wear to bedding products and tourmaline is even used to filter water by negatively ionizing it. All these uses apply the external energy or heat needed to cause the tourmaline to generate negative ions and far infrared rays.Tourmaline Gemstone Types and Colors
What is your favorite color? Chances are very good that you can find a tourmaline in that color. Supposedly there is an old Egyptian legend that the tourmaline was on a journey to the sun which began at the center of the earth and while on its journey to the sun, it traveled along a
rainbow and gathered all the colors. Many still refer to it as the “gemstone of the rainbow”. And what a “rainbow” of colors from which one can select .
Tourmaline comes in pink to red to purple, in blue, green, brown, yellow, black and even two or three colors in one gemstone. It can be found with one color at one end of the gemstone and different color at the other end. These are known as bicolor tourmaline. There are even gemstones tri-color gemstones. If the crystal is cut in a “slice” rather than parallel to the long axis of the crystal, one can get a gemstone that resembles a slice of watermelon with a green “rind” that transitions into a pink center, just like its namesake. Then there are multi color (a.k.a.
parti color) tourmalines can have a dazzling variety of colors, green, red, gold, yellow, brown, and pinks all in the same gemstone and that have to been seen for one to appreciate how spectacular they are.
The tourmaline family currently has 14 members but not all are suitable for use in jewelry. The base of the family is crystal boron silicate which Mother Nature mixed with a variety of elements like chromium, aluminium, magnesium, lithium, etc. It remains unknown if other members of the family will discovered in the future.Tourmaline Types Used in Jewelry
can be brown, orange, yellowish brown or if it contains chromium or vanadium it can be one of the most beautiful emerald green colors. Dravite was originally named in 1883 or 1884 for the Drava river area which is now part of the Republic of Slovenia. The name is now
used for all brown tourmaline. Brown dravite is relatively rare and usually does not come in large gemstone sizes. Green dravite gets its exquisite color from chromium or vanadium but it is called chrome
dravite or chrome tourmaline no matter which element (chrome or vanadium) causes the green color. Chrome dravite is often confused with its green elbaite tourmaline cousin so a gemological report should always be requested if you purchase a chrome tourmaline (dravite).Elbaite
can be almost any color or combination of colors. Elbaite comes in green, blue, brown, multicolored, purple, pink, red and more but rarely colorless. While colors such as red (known as Rubelite) have been around for centuries, some colors are new and exciting. For example, copper bearing Paraiba tourmaline was not discovered until the 1980s and what a wonderful discovery it was. It was first discovered in Brazil in the state of Paraiba and immediately became a hit in the gemstone world shortly after it was introduced at the annual Tucson, Arizona gem show in 1990. Heretofore tourmaline in the bright turquoise or blue green or neon blue color was unknown. Paraiba type tourmaline has since been discovered in Mozambique. Logically they are known as African Paraiba. The color saturation in the African Paraiba is a little lighter but they make up for that by being available in larger carat weights. Multi or parti color tourmalines were introduced to the world in the fall of 1997. They came from a mine that produces fine bi color, pink, rubelite and raspberry tourmaline so it almost makes sense that Mother Nature would swirl those colors together and throw in a little yellow, and brown for good measure.Liddicoatite
can be blue, brown, green, multicolored, purple or red. Most bi-color / tri-color tourmaline is liddicoatite although some might be elbaitie. That would have to be determined by gemological analysis. Probably the most well know of the liddicoatite family would be watermelon tourmaline. You probably won’t find watermelon tourmaline in most jewelry stores. As beautiful as it can be, it seems to remain a collectors’ gemstone.Schorl
is the black or gray color of tourmaline. While it did enjoy a brief surge of popularity in the Victorian era, it is not normally found in jewelry today. Currently schorl is mostly used for engravings.
Tourmaline Gemstone Evaluation and Valuation
Because tourmaline comes in so many different types and colors, evaluating one can be a little more difficult. One thing to keep in mind when evaluating any tourmaline is to make sure you look at it in daylight and in incandescent lighting. Tourmaline is known a daylight gemstone, meaning it shows the best color in daylight. When viewed under incandescent lighting some tourmalines may a delightful green gemstone may appear almost black in incandescent lighting or a pink or red tourmaline may show either gray or brown. Tourmalines that do not display those tendencies under incandescent lighting are the true “rock stars of the tourmaline world.Cut
– The cut and the “make” are extremely important when evaluating a tourmaline. Tourmaline is dichroic which means the color may be different or more or less intense depending on the angle of viewing. The gemstone cutter really must know how to work with a tourmaline to get the best out of it.Hue
– The hue of the tourmaline will absolutely depend on the type and color of tourmaline. As a general rule, one should be looking at a 70% to 75% hue of the primary color of the gemstones with the total secondary
hue at no more than 30%. For example, a chrome dravite should have forest green primary hues with yellow to blue as the secondary hue. The yellow hue will show most in daylight but the blue hue will show most in incandescent light.Saturation
– The saturation will very much depend on the type and color. As a general rule a color saturation of between 70% and 80% will be optimum. Using chrome dravite as an example, a dark grey or black mask can be seen if the saturation is over 80%. Saturation under 70% will be less desirable as the gemstone will be more pastel and not the vivid lively green you want in a chrome dravite.Tone
– The tone will depend on the color and type of tourmaline under consideration. For example, the best tone for a Paraiba type tourmaline is 45% to 65% while the best tone for a green tourmaline is between 70% and 80% and the best tone for a red tourmaline is about 80%. And the tone for a bi, tri or multi (parti) color tourmaline can be even more complicated to grade.Carat Weight
– Given the range of types of tourmaline, there is no general rule on size and pricing. Some tourmalines are available mostly in smaller sizes yet sizes in other colors are more readily available in 10+ carat sizes.Clarity
– Tourmaline covers all three gemstone types. For example, green tourmaline is usually graded a Type I (usually eye clean).
Blue, orange, yellow, multi-color (other than watermelon) and some pinks are usually graded as a Type II clarity gemstone. Red, pink and watermelon tourmaline is usually graded as a Type III gemstone (inclusions are to be expected).
More Tourmaline Evaluation Information
Mohs Scale – Tourmaline is rated as a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness meaning they are very suitable for daily wear. As with all gemstones, it is best to avoid hard knocks.Treatments
– Historically, tourmaline has not been normally treated but some colors are now being heat treated or subject to very low levels of irradiation. These treatments should not great affect the value of the gemstone. You should always ask your gemstone dealer.Gem Report
- A buyer who is considering the purchase of a loose tourmaline gemstone should request a professional gemological report in order to help them know exactly what they are purchasing. Grading reports may be shown using a numerical value and / or percent or be given an overall letter (B thru AAA to GEM) and description "grade" for the clarity and color - it will depend on with which laboratory the gemologist
trained. There are several recognized laboratories like Gemological Institute of America (GIA - uses the numerical scale), International Gemological Institute (IGI), International Gem Society (IGS), European Gemological Center (EGC) and more.Imposters and Synthetics
– Laboratory created tourmaline is not widely available.Clarity
– all three types – green – type I - most tourmaline – type II – rubelite – watermelon – type III
Be sure to see AfricaGems vast selection of unique, individual Tourmaline rings
and Tourmaline pendants.
Resources & References for Tourmaline Gemstones
Learn More About Genuine Tourmaline Gems
Learn More About Genuine Tourmaline Stones from the ICA
Shop Stunning Tourmaline Rings
Shop Beautiful Tourmaline Pendants
Shop Lovely Tourmaline Earrings
Shop Magnificent Tourmaline Matched Sets