Dahl Jewelers, Woodbridge, VA
Tourmaline is one of the more unusual gemstones. In keeping with that fact, tourmaline also has one of the more unusual histories of all gemstones.
Tourmaline was known in ancient time from deposits in such places as Switzerland, Italy, Afghanistan and India, just to mention a few locations.
Also, tourmaline possesses a piezo-electric property that would certainly have drawn the interest of the learned men who studied it. It was also believed to protect its wearer from bad decisions, dangers, and misfortune while attracting friends and lovers.
Then, somewhere along the line, tourmaline disappeared from the records and did not reappear for centuries. It was not until 1703 that a Dutch ship returned from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) carrying some of the stones. This new stone was called turamali, which is Singhalese for stone of many colors. The Dutch quickly discovered it piezo-electric qualities and dubbed tourmaline
"ash puller", using its abilities for the lowly purpose of removing ash from their pipes. These
"new" stones quickly became popular with many and it was not long before they were being offered all over Europe.
In keeping with its name's origin, tourmaline comes in a wide variety of colors. Solid colors are usually the most desirable, with the green, chrome green, pink and rubellite being the most sought after. Stones with mixed colors can also be quite enchanting and a watermelon tourmaline with its red center and green outer layer is fascinating.
Description of Tourmaline Qualities That We Sell
High Quality (Pink): Very lively deep pink color. Mostly eye clean and very well cut. The more intense the pink, the more included the stones.
Medium Quality (Pink): Lighter pink and mostly clean or darker pink, somewhat included and less transparent.
High Quality (Chrome): Very lively and deep "chrome green" color, but not too dark. Well cut and clean. Excellent luster.
High Quality (Green): Very lively rich medium olive green color. Well cut and eye clean with high luster.
Medium Quality (Green): Darker olive green look with some life.
Please check here for a note about colored gemstone qualities.
Birthstone: October (Pink - alternate)
Hardness: 7 to 7.5
Specific Gravity: 3.12 (+/- .10)
Ref. Index: 1.616 to 1.652
Double Refraction: -0.014 to -0.044
Main Sources: Africa and Brazil
Treatment: Heat and Irradiation (color is stable)
Reaction to Heat: Poor, stone may fracture.
Back to Colored Gemstone Information