Tourmaline – A Rainbow of Choices

Posted on: October 8, 2015

tourmaline-20151008aTourmalines come in a wide variety of exciting colors and have one of the widest color ranges of any gem. It is one of the designated birthstones for October, the eighth anniversary gem, and the gemstone said to ensure lasting love and friendship.

Tourmaline was first discovered in Brazil in the mid-1500’s and mistaken for emerald. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that tourmaline was finally named and recognized as a distinct mineral. Both California and Maine became world renown for tourmaline production starting in the late 1800’s. Locally, San Diego County shipped 120 tons of gem quality pink and red tourmaline to China between 1902 and 1910 because the Dowager Empress Tzu-hsi cherished the gemstone. When the collapse of the Chinese government occurred in 1912, the market for tourmaline from the United States virtually ceased.

tourmaline-20151008bSince tourmaline can be found to exist in almost any color (including bi or multi-colored stones), many are referred to by their own jewelry trade names, such as:

  • Rubellite – intense pink, red to violet-red
  • Chrome tourmaline – rich, green hues that compete in color to emerald and tsavorite garnet
  • Paraiba – rich blue, greenish-blue or violetish-blue
  • Savannah tourmaline – bright yellows
  • Watermelon tourmaline – tri-color stone featuring green, white, and pink color bands

The most desired colors of tourmaline are rich, intense blue, pink and green. Yet, with so many colors to choose from, most everyone can find a tourmaline color to their liking.

View tourmaline jewelry from our Jessop's Collection

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