Friday, October 15, 2010

Tourmaline

I was rifling through my gem collection and stumbled across a tiny tourmaline so pink it would put a sapphire to shame. Tourmaline is one of the most colorful gems available on the market.



Due to the complexity of the composition it cannot be synthesized. Few treatments are imposed on this mineral, too. Irradiation and heat can intensify pinks.



Tourmaline often has inclusions, so if you have a microscope handy you have plenty to look at... Like copper platelets in a Paraiba Tourmaline:



A quick note about why some are called Paraiba and others Paraiba-type: Paraiba is a place name and indicates green or blue coloring due to copper. Paraiba-type tourmalines are colored by copper but come from a different location.

When I was at GIA becoming a professional gem nerd, one of the available field trips was to the Stewart Lithia Mine in Pala, California. In addition to a comprehensive underground tour, we were allowed a few hours to go hunting around n the tailings pile for all the goodies we could carry out. I left with a good bit of lovely lavender lepidolite.



And now, for your drooling pleasure, please enjoy some selections from our talented Starving Artists. You may also buy one of these so they can buy themselves a sandwich, or something :)







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.

14 comments:

galadryl said...

Thank you very much for the info and the gorgeous examples. I do love tourmaline.

Sue Daigle said...

It was hard to get past the first picture of the multi-colored tourmaline. Have never seen anything like that. Love the earrings especially. Maine has tourmalines so it's very popular here.

Carole said...

What a talented group!

mcstoneworks said...

Andrea, thank you for featuring one of the most beautiful gemstones. I love tourmaline. Great information.

Cat said...

I love tourmaline!
Thanks for this post.

faeriiidust said...

Thanks for including my juicy knot earrings! Great information!

BeadSire said...

Absolutely stunning, what sensational pictures. I agree that first one is spectacular!

Kady said...

Tourmaline is so beautiful and I loved seeing the pics of the rough material. Thanks for the info!

tjrjewellery said...

Thanks for the information!

MmeMagpie said...

Tourmaline is one of the most beautiful minerals in the rough. I'd love to go more in depth, but I've got way too much on my plate so I try and make up for it with pictures :)

Jennifer Cameron said...

very interesting! I didn't know anything about it except how pretty it is.

Ramona said...

Great info! I learned a few things and thanks for posting that. I love all the pieces you chose, they're all so pretty!

Cassie said...

Tourmaline is one of my favorite gems! The items selected that feature tourmaline are so wonderfully done! Great job!

Bonnie said...

Wow what an informative article. Tourmaline is a magical stone, I love the variety. Great examples too.