Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that is available in all the colors of the rainbow. The name of the stone comes from a Sinhalese term ‘turmali’ that means ‘mixed gems’. Tourmaline became valued in Europe when the Dutch began to import it from Sri Lanka. According to an Egyptian legend, tourmaline, on its long journey from the center of the earth, passed over a rainbow and absorbed all of its colors. The stone is still referred to as the gemstone of the rainbow. In addition, this stone is pleochroic, i.e., the crystal absorbs different wavelengths of light depending on the direction of incidence, and hence it appears to be of different colors from different angles.
This multihued sparkling stone is actually the birthstone of people born in October. They can choose any color of tourmaline but pink tourmalines are supposed to be more suitable. Tourmaline is actually the perfect stone for rings, as it is usually very clear and sparkles beautifully. Also, tourmalines look great when used along with other stones such as diamonds, sapphires or rubies to create eye-catching necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The availability of various colors and the not-too-expensive nature of tourmaline makes it all the more popular among people. The hard stone is usually available in 7.5 on Mohs scale, but its hardness is variable. Its toughness is considered fair and a skilled craftsman can cut it in different sizes.
Among all the variants of tourmaline, Paraiba is considered to be most valuable. Paraiba appears in a neon greenish hue and was discovered in the Paraiba province of Brazil. It is the most selling color of tourmaline due to its lovely greenish color, and is often used as a cheaper substitute for emerald. Tourmaline is generally found all over the world. There are major deposits in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South- West Africa.
Tourmaline is an underappreciated gemstone but it is gaining popularity these days as people have come to appreciate its beauty and benefits. These stones, in their multiple hues, have all what it takes to secure a permanent place in the hearts of jewellery lovers.