Tourmaline is the ultimate color stone. All colors are present and tourmaline is particularly known for its multi-colored gemstones. The material was first described after Dutch merchantmen brought it from Sri Lanka in the early 18th century. They called it Asschentrekker because it becomes statically charged when heated and attracts dust particles and shoots them away again, which the sailors found very fascinating. The Sinhalese term "Toramalli", from which the name is clearly derived, refers to the color of the material.
The mineral elbaite (named after the Italian island of Elba) is the most prominent member of the tourmaline gemstone group and most commonly used as a gemstone.
Because the tourmaline family includes more than 30 species, this is not practical for the jeweller. They named the tourmalines based on their color. Green tourmaline is called verdelite, red tourmaline rubellite and dark blue indigolite. The Paraiba tourmaline (elbaite with traces of copper) occupies a special position as a rare turquoise blue variety. In addition, chrome tourmaline is recognized as a separate variant. These are special bright green stones of the tourmaline type dravite that are colored by chromium and vanadium.
Tourmaline has a very strong pleochroism (two color). Grinding should be taken into account here. Also, the color of tourmaline can react strongly to different types of light. Tourmaline usually comes into its own in daylight.
Tourmaline as a mineral is common. However, bright colors are rare. Gem material used to come mainly from Brazil and California. Today, more sites are known. The richest production comes from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Madagascar, Namibia and still Brazil. Where people looked down on tourmalines 40 years ago, a lot has changed with the discovery of the spectacular Paraiba and chrome tourmalines.
The appreciation for high quality tourmaline has increased enormously in recent years. As with many other gemstones, tourmaline is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to mine, driving up the price. In this respect, high quality large tourmaline stones are an interesting investment with a high potential for value appreciation.
Is your desired tourmaline not in our (online) collection? Please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you find the perfect item.