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Tourmaline - The Rainbow Gemstone

Updated on October 21, 2015
Anamika S profile image

Anamika S Jain is a Social Media Consultant and Blogger. She is passionate about topics like Astrology, Numerology, Feng Shui and Gemstones.

Tourmaline - The October Birthstone

Tourmaline is a gemstone species which comes in a wide variety of colors and types. It is available in all the colors present in the rainbow which may be why the stone is often referred to as Rainbow Gemstone. This stone is a favorite with gemstone collectors because of the various colors it is available. This semiprecious stone is available in colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and in many shades and even in multicolor.

According to an Egyptian legend, on its long journey up from the center of the Earth, the Tourmaline gemstones passed over a rainbow and assumed the different colors on it. This stone is considered the gemstone of love and of friendship. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese words 'tura mali' which means ‘stone with mixed colors’. Tourmaline is the Birthstone of October. It is also the 8th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone.

Verdelite (Green), Rubellite (Pink), Indigolite (Blue), Achroite(Colorless), African Paraiba, Dravite, Canary (Yellow) and Watermelon Tourmalines
Verdelite (Green), Rubellite (Pink), Indigolite (Blue), Achroite(Colorless), African Paraiba, Dravite, Canary (Yellow) and Watermelon Tourmalines | Source
Tourmaline Crystal - Colors and types
Tourmaline Crystal - Colors and types | Source

Tourmaline Crystals - History and Types

Tourmalines are in existence for thousands of years. This stone is said to have adorned the Crown of Queen of Sheba. There are also references to the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi, the last Empress of China, as a pink tourmaline lover that she even has a pillow carved out of pink tourmaline. It is said that the Russian Crown Jewels were adorned with Tourmaline's (Red Tourmaline variety called Rubelite) which could be a case of mistaken identity as the Rubelite bear a close resemblance to Ruby. Tourmaline's were often mistaken as other stones. Just like rubelite was thought to be Ruby, green tourmaline was mistaken as Emerald. Many still refer to the green tourmaline as Brazilian emerald.

Tourmaline gemstones are found in different types and colors depending on their chemical composition. Tourmaline's can be widely classified into 4 types.

  • Dravite can be brown, orange, yellowish brown or even green (if it has it chromium or vanadium content). The emerald green tourmaline is referred to as crome dravidite or crome tourmaline.
  • Elbaite can be green, blue, brown, multicolored, purple, pink, red and even colorless. The popular ones in this group are Verdelite (Green), Rubellite (Pink), Indigolite (Blue), Achroite(Colorless) and African Paraiba.
  • Liddicoatite can be found in blue, brown, green, multicolored, purple or red. Watermelon tourmaline is a member of this group.
  • Schorl is the black or gray color of tourmaline. They are mostly used for engravings.

Tourmaline - Uses and Healing Powers

Tourmaline is used as a substitute gem stone for precious gemstones. Red, white, green, yellow and blue colored tourmaline are substitutes for ruby, diamond, emerald, yellow sapphire and blue sapphire respectively. This stone has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and are suitable for making daily wear jewelry. However, make sure to protect it from heat and blows. Because of the hardness and availability of this stone in different colors, it is also a preferred stone of jewelry designers.

Tourmaline Gemstones are associated to different Chakras, Zodiac Signs or Planets based on their Color. For instance, Blue is associated with Throat/ Third Eye Chakra and Planet Saturn, Green and Pink with the Heart Chakra and Red with the root chakra.

Tourmaline is said to enhance knowledge and creativity, improve circulation, reduce stress, remove energy blockages, increase self confidence, remove negativity and increase the strength of body and mind. This gemstone is used for clearing of chakras. Different colors of tourmaline are used for treatment of different chakras. A Dream of this gemstone signifies accident.

Tourmalines can become electrically charged when they are heated and then allowed to cool which may be why they are referred to as Electric Stone. Tourmaline emits Alpha waves, negative ions and far infrared rays which has tremendous health benefits on humans. Because of this they are used in a wide variety of applications including water filters, dyes, power bands and even hair brushes.

Tourmalines are found almost all over the world. The major deposits of this gem stone are available in Brazil, SriLanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Afganistan, Nigeria and USA.

Tourmaline for Healing

© 2008 Anamika S


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  • Anamika S profile image

    Anamika S 8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

    Yes, you are right. Thanks for the visit.

  • moonloh profile image

    moonloh 8 years ago from Singapore

    I hardly buy gemstone and I understand that the colours of gemstone have their own very different meaning right? =)

  • guidebaba profile image

    guidebaba 8 years ago from India

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  • einron profile image

    einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

    I do not think that I have come across the semi precious gem "tourmaline" at all. I have bought opal when I was in Melbourne, and some coloured stones in Alaska a couple of years ago. I cannot remember their names. They are somewhat bluish green and sold in a set, earrings and locket on board the ship and on land. I know garnet, sapphire, the more common semi precious gems. There are lots of jewellry shops in Alaska towns. Most women cannot resist buying jewellry. I hope that I will not be tempted to buy gems again.

    You seem to be rather knowledgeable in gems.