Imagine going to a jeweler with the intentions of buying a pretty amethyst or perhaps an onyx ring and running into one of the most stunningly colored stones on the planet. Only problem is you’ve never heard of it. If this has ever happened to you, or someone you know, the chances are it was a tourmaline. They're not very well known outside the gem/jewelry community but wow are they beautiful.
The word tourmaline means “mixed color stones” and is derived from the Singhalese word “turmali”. The term “mixed color stones” is incredibly accurate in terms of this particular beauty as it is the only member of the gem family available in such a vast array of colors. To name all the color combinations could take weeks but basically we are talking about numerous shades of red, pink, blue, yellow, green and brown. What’s even better is that there could be a combination of all these colors on one stone! It’s difficult to describe in words how spectacular these stone are and what a wonder they are to own. Some people have turned the ownership of these gems into a hobby, amassing large collections with no two stones exactly alike.
As the colors of tourmaline vary so do the names they are referred by. The
watermelon tourmaline refers to combinations of pink and green. Reds or pinks
When owning a product of “mother earth” which is as beautiful as the tourmaline, a bit of background knowledge is in order. After all something this visually unique will always be a great conversation piece. Tourmaline was first discovered in the 18th century and was believed to protect its owner from misfortune as well as protect travelers from falls. These days it is the accepted birthstone for October as well as the anniversary stone for the 8th year of marriage. The tourmaline carries with it a minute electrical charge, which can attract very light objects, dust being one of them. But even the dust provides something unique to look at as it tends to gather on opposing ends of the stone even if it is sitting upright!
If you are fond of color, tourmalines look great on necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. On the scale of 1 to 10 they average about a 7 to 7.5 in hardness, making them pretty durable, but they will still need protection from unnecessary trauma and should be cleaned regularly. A commercial jewelry cleaning solution, or warm soapy water and a brush are fine, but stay away from using the ultrasonic machine.
If you are convinced you need to own one, visit a reputable jewelry manufacturer who will guide you on your way. Since manufacturers make the pieces themselves, it’s a better idea than going to a regular retailer that buys their inventory from a wholesaler. You may even be able to find out where your particular stone originated from.
If you like to stand out from the rest, and owning something unique is your
goal, the tourmaline is the answer for you. It offers not only beauty but distinct
individuality, fascinating color variations, unique crystal formations and a
very unusual electrical charge. Who knows what can happen after purchasing the
first one, it may make a collector out of you after all.