Was first founded in Brazil in 1500 and thought of it as emerald however it was not recognised till 1800’s when scientists recognised it as a distinct mineral. Today it’s found all over the world from Brazil, USA to Sri Lanka to Afghanistan. The name derives from the Sri Lankan word “Sinhalese” meaning mixed gems. It is easily confused with emerald and other gems as it matches the dazzling colours of rich reds and pastel pinks to the intense emerald greens.
Tourmaline is suitable for any cut which makes it ideal for creating a unique statement piece of jewellery. The common colour of tourmaline is the green and yellowish, it’s dichroic which means when viewed from different angles it can change colour. Tourmalines can come in variety of colours from green, yellow, black to blackish blue to reds. There are many with mixed colours for example the watermelon tourmaline which has the outer layer as green and inside as red this is rare therefore will be priced higher than a normal tourmaline.
Heat treatment enhances the blue and green tourmaline to make it more valuable in the jewellery market therefore ensure to purchase from a reputable jeweller as they will be able to tell the all the treatments a gem has been through and give a price accordingly.
It is the birthstone for October and 8th wedding anniversary. Also believed to strengthen the mind and spirit.
Tourmaline is a durable gemstone however it will need some looking after to ensure that it is kept looking its best. Tourmaline jewellery should be stored in a soft pouch or jewellery box to prevent scratching and damage to and from other jewellery. Soap and liquid cleaners should be avoided as these may cause tourmaline stones to become dull. Harsh detergents or chemicals such as bleach or chlorine may cause erosion to tourmaline stones so these should be avoided. To clean tourmaline jewellery rinse thoroughly with water and dry with a soft jewellery cloth. Tourmaline is sensitive to temperature, high heat or sudden changes in temperature could cause fracturing.