Tourmaline is another gemstone that comes in many colors.  A pink one is an alternative birthstone for October. It is actually very rare to have a uni-colored one, and its name comes from “Turamali,” which means “stone with mixed colors.”

Tourmaline’s most desired colors are intense pink and green. Varieties include rubellite (pink to red), schorl (black, often used for mourning jewelry) and verdelite (green).  The Paraiba Tourmaline is often a favorite.  It is a vivid blue green, Caribbean Ocean color, which is caused by manganese and copper.  And the Watermelon Tourmaline has an outer green layer and red core.

The most important tourmaline supplier is Brazil.  In the United States, it is found in California and Maine.

What I find the most interesting, however, is that Tourmalines can become electrically charged by heating, cooling and applying pressure to them.  Paper and dust can be pulled towards them.  The Dutch name for this gem used to be “ash puller” because of this effect.

Stay tuned tomorrow for yet another gem!

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