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tourmaline
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Tourmaline

Product Code :   TO002
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THE GEMSTONE TOURMALINE

Tourmaline is the most colorful of all gemstones. It occurs in all colors, but pink, red, green, blue and multicolored are its most well-known gem colors. Scientifically, tourmaline is not a single mineral, but a group of minerals related in their physical and chemical properties. The mineral Elbaite is the member of the Tourmaline group that is responsible for almost all the gem varieties. Three other members of the group - Schorl, Dravite and Liddicoatite, are seldom used as gemstones.

ALL ABOUT        

Though Elbaite occurs in all color forms, the term Elbaite in the gemstone trade is sometimes used to describe the green form of Tourmaline. The other color forms of Elbaite have their own variety names on the gem market. Traditional Tourmaline gemstone variety names include Rubellite, the red or pink variety, Indicolite, the blue variety, and Watermelon Tourmaline, a multicolored Tourmaline of green and red. More recently coined Tourmaline variety names include Chrome Tourmaline and Paraiba Tourmaline. A recent trend in the gem market is to prefix Tourmaline gemstones by the color designation as opposed to variety name, such that "Rubellite" is now more often called "Red Tourmaline".

The value of Tourmaline has a very large range. The more common forms can be fairly inexpensive, but the rarer and more exotic colors can command very high prices.

The most expensive and valuable form of Tourmaline is the rare neon-blue form known by the trade name Paraiba Tourmaline. Paraiba Tourmaline was first discovered in a gem pegmatite in the Brazilian state of Paraiba in 1989. This new Tourmaline became extremely popular in a very short time, and the cost for this rare Tourmaline became astronomically high due to short supply. Small deposits of Tourmaline of similar color to Paraiba Tourmaline were also recently found in Nigeria and  Mozambique, and these are often also called "Paraiba Tourmaline" in the gem trade. Other valuable forms of Tourmaline are Chrome Tourmaline, an intense-green Tourmaline found in Tanzania, Rubellite, the pink to red variety, and Indicolite, the rare blue variety. 

Chemical Formula            Tourmaline is a series of several different minerals with unique chemical formulas. See The chemical formula of Tourmaline for details.

Color                                    White, Colorless, Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray, Black, Multicolored

Hardness                             7 - 7.5

Crystal System                    Hexagonal

Refractive Index                  1.616 - 1.650

SG                                          2.9 - 3.3

Transparency                       Transparent to opaque

Double Refraction               .018

Luster                                     Vitreous

Cleavage                               3,2

Mineral Class                       Tourmaline

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