Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tourmaline - Rainbow Gemstone

Tourmaline is the birthstone for October. I think those born in this month are perhaps the luckiest when it comes to their birthstone as it is available in such a wide range of colours. Someone born in October can pick almost any colour for his/her stone.

Tourmaline Cabochons


Ancient Egyptian lore says that as tourmaline travelled up from the middle of the earth toward the sun, it travelled along a rainbow and collected all the colours of the rainbow.


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Rubellite Tourmaline Crystals


Tourmaline does come in a rainbow of colours – blue, green, yellow, pink, red, reddish purple, black, brown and clear. But what makes tourmaline so special is that different colours are often present in the same crystal. So tourmaline can be bi-coloured, tri-coloured, even multi-coloured. These incredible colour variations have made tourmaline an incredibly popular gemstone for jewelry makers and jewelry buyers.


Tri-coloured Tourmaline Crystals


The value of tourmaline varies greatly and depends on the quality of the colour of the stone. The most expensive tourmalines are the Paraiba tourmalines (bright neon blue), indicolite tourmaline (blue), verdelite tourmaline (green) and rubellite tourmaline (pink to red).

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Faceted Indicolite Tourmaline Gemstone


Tourmaline also has an interesting physical characteristic. If heated, rubbed or pressurized, a tourmaline crystal will become electrically charged, causing it to attract small objects such as dust, hair, fluff and dirt. This results in the need to clean tourmaline more often that most gemstones.

Tourmaline is often heat treated to enhance the colour. Blue tourmaline crystals are treated to lighten the colour while low grade pink and red ones are treated to intensify their colour.

Members of the Starving Artists Team also like working with tourmaline.




Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.

4 comments:

Carole said...

Lovely stone...glad to know there is a pretty alternative to opals for an October baby.

Bonnie said...

Agreat write up for a lovely stone. Thanks.

mcstoneworks said...

Love tourmaline with it's wide range of colors.

tjrjewellery said...

Beautiful gemstone - so many colours!