Tourmalines are some of the most colourful gemstone varieties. The various colours are commonly believed to be the result of certain minerals being present in the Earth’s core as the gemstone was forming. For example, Iron and Titanium are responsible for the Blue and Green hues, and Manganese lends Tourmalines those coveted Pink and Yellow Hues. In some very rare cases, Copper is present, leading to the creation of the famed Paraiba Tourmalines – a brilliant Blue. The Pink and Red Tourmalines are often known by a different name: Rubelite. At times nature really takes out all the stops and then several colours are included in one stone – leading to Bi Colour Tourmalines or Tri Colour Tourmalines. Watermelon Tourmalines (Pink in the middle with a Green outer rim), are very popular versions of Bi Colour Tourmalines.
Moh's Hardness Scale
I enjoy working with Tourmalines because of the multiple colours found inside a bi colour Tourmaline. I love playing around with different colours within one piece of jewellery. But because it is only a 7 – 7.5 on Moh’s Hardness Scale, it is advised to only use Tourmaline for dress rings /cocktail rings/ occasion rings. Clear and clean Tourmalines in terms of clarity are rare, so they tend to be more expensive. I prefer to work with the cleanest gems we can find, as this decreases the risk of the stone cracking at any point. Some inclusions are considered normal, as long as they don’t reach the surface, they are not dangerous to the integrity of the stone itself.
Watermelon Tourmaline on Quartz Matrix from Afghanistan.
Pink Tourmaline crystal bunch on the Matrix from Pakistan.
Tourmaline Crystals are normally mined in elongated shapes, so most of the finished, faceted gemstones are long and slim in shape. When Tourmaline was first discovered, in Brazil in the 1500’s, it was initially mistaken for Emerald.