Heather Cote, Azure Accessories - August 20th, 2012Monday, August 20, 2012 by: Baytoday Business WireFeature, BayToday.ca
- by Heather Cote
This week I decided to do a gemstone post. After checking the Etsy shop of Maryanne Fender to see what colorful stones she had in stock I chose Tourmaline.
Part of the reason for this choice is, I don’t think many people are familiar with this gem.
I’ve not used this semi-precious stone much in the last 6 years as the faceted tourmaline is rather expensive, but I’ve always liked faceted tourmaline, as it has a gorgeous sparkle and shine to it.
Opaque tourmaline is lacking the vibrancy of the faceted gem…at least that is how I feel about the gem.
This is one of the few gemstones which come in a multitude of colours.
An Egyptian legend states during its long journey from the centre of the earth the tourmaline passed a rainbow, taking on all the rainbow's colours, which is why the tourmaline is called the “gemstone of the rainbow”.
The word Tourmaline comes from “tura mali”, which roughly translates to “stone with mixed colours”.
You certainly can find tourmaline in a mixture of colours; ranging from reds to greens, from blue to yellow, black, pink, often a gem will be two or more colours.
Some gems will even change colour with the light.
This gem has many names to correspond with all the different colours:
• Intense red tourmaline is known as “rubellite” but only if the colour doesn’t change with the light, if it changes it is then a pink tourmaline
• Blue tourmalines are called “indigolites”
• Yellowish-brown to dark brown tourmalines are called “dravites”
• Black tourmaline is called “shcorl”
• Green tourmaline is called “verdelite”, except when the green is due to chromium particles, then it is called “chrome tourmaline”
• Stones with two colours are called “bi-coloured”, ones with more than two colours are called “multicoloured” tourmalines.
• I’m sure you’ve heard of or seen the “watermelon” tourmaline stone,the centre is red/pink with white, then green surrounding it. This colouring is a rare natural occurrence.
Tourmaline has been found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, south & south west Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan and USA, (mainly in California and Maine).
There are many gemstone deposits with finds of tourmaline but not always great colour or quality, which is why there is such a large price difference in these gems.
Facts of interest:
• Dichroic - changes colour
• Largest known crystal is 192 carats, with a value of over $25 million
• The pattern for tourmaline is hexagonal and grows in long prisms, often with several prisms growing together, which adds to the beauty and price of the gem.
• Blue and green tourmaline can be heated to enhance the colour of the gem, which then makes the cost higher.
• Used to promote artistic and creativity…maybe I should wear something made from this gem?
• Like most gems, it is believed by those working in alternative medicine this stone has healing powers for both physical and mental issues.
• Black tourmaline is the most abundant colour found.
• This gem is a 7 to 7.5 on the hardness scale and breaks easily so wear rings with care, as hitting the stone against anything hard could crack or break the gem.
• Do not clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, when heated this gem attracts dust so try to keep from heat.
• Something I found unusual for a gemstone is the tourmaline can be electrically charged by heating and cooling or simply by applying pressure by rubbing the stone, apparently scientists are interested in this unique quality as well.
• This gemstone is used in pressure gauges…
• One of two October birthstones.
For anyone not familiar with this colourful gem it truly is a beautiful stone, especially when it is strung together with a rainbow effect.
Hopefully I’ve created a little interest in this striking gem. I may even see what I can find, if I do I’ll post a photo.
Don’t forget questions and comments are welcome…
Azure Accessories Blog
Heather Cote - Facebook
Azure Accessories - Facebook
Use of photos courtesy of:
Special thanks to Maryanne Fender of Fender Minerals for allowing the use of their gorgeous gemstones.
Fender Minerals link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FenderMinerals?ref=seller_info
Photo info and links for each Fender gemstone:
#1 Black Tourmaline Schorl Crystal, Minas Gerais, Brazil
#2 Pink Green Tourmaline "bubble gum pink" Crystal with a top-hat of albite, Paprok, Nuristan, Kunar, Afghanistan
#3 Watermelon Tourmaline Crystal Gem Rough Slice
#4Dark green tourmaline, Cruzeiro Mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil
#5 Schorl Black Tourmaline, Bold Radiating Starburst Pattern in Schist, Vadito Schist, Picuris Mining District, Taos County, New Mexico
September 4th, 2012
August 27th, 2012
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July 30th, 2012
July 23rd, 2012
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July 2nd, 2012