INFORMATION ABOUT TOURMALINE IN ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY
Tourmaline comes in more colors than any other gemstone. Tourmaline may come in multi-colors within the same stone. Isomorphic replacement explains the variety of colors in tourmaline. There are only ten mineral species in the tourmaline group. The most valued tourmalines are raspberry red, medium-dark emerald green and intense blue. Cat's eye tourmaline is valuable if the eye is well defined. As tourmalines have an attractive, electric quality, they attract dust and when kept in museums they require more frequent cleansing than other stones. Purity and intensity of color are the most important qualities to consider.
BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARY
Tourmaline is the alternate birthstone for October and the 8th wedding anniversary stone.
ORIGIN OF NAME
The origin of the name "tourmaline" is uncertain. It may have originated from the Singhalese word "turmali", which means "unidentified yellow, green or brown stone out of the earth". The name most likely happened by mistake. In 1703, a package of stones labeled "turmali" was sent from Sri Lanka to a Dutch lapidary and the name has since remained.
OUR TOURMALINE ESTATE JEWELRY AND VINTAGE JEWELRY COLLECTION
Hot Pink Rubellite Tourmaline Earrings in 22kt Yellow Gold
Estate Jewelry Red Tourmaline Diamond Ring
Tourmaline has been found in Brazil, California, Maine, Pakistan, East Africa, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Russia and Madagascar. Brazil is the leading producer of tourmaline.
Tourmaline was first recognized as a distinct stone in the early 18th century. Prior to that date, red or green varieties were considered ruby or emerald, respectively. The Chinese valued tourmaline and would use the stone to make headdresses, buttons and girdles. In 1888, Catherine the Great was given a large red tourmaline from Gustavus III of Sweden. However, at the time, the tourmaline stone was considered to be a ruby.
ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY HISTORY USING TOURMALINES
Estate jewelry using black tourmaline may be found as it was once widely used for mourning jewelry in the Victorian Jewelry Period, it was occasionally used instead of jet or chalcedony. Tourmaline has become popular in contemporary estate jewelry.
There are not a lot of legends about tourmaline, as it was only classified as a unique stone in the 18th century. New Age followers believe the mineral's pyrolectric and piezoelectric properties produce amplified psychic energy and neutralize negative energy.
Tourmalines are mainly found in pegmatites, which are rich in volatile elements like boron, beryllium and lithium. Pegmatities yield not only crystals of elbaite, but other gem minerals that contain these elements such as spodumene and beryl. Primary deposits are pegmatites of the zoned (heterogeneous) type. Tourmaline is a relatively common mineral.
CUTS OF TOURMALINE USED IN ESTATE JEWELRY
The more transparent, inclusion free specimens are fashioned mostly into emerald cut. The cabochon cut is preferred when small inclusions are present, which create the cat's eye.
TOURMALINE ESTATE JEWELRY CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Exposure to cleansing agents, even mild soaps, can cause the sealants to fail leaving the stone with a matt or dull finish. Tourmalines in rings should always be removed prior to washing one's hands, cleaning house or swimming. Ultrasonic cleaners should be used with extreme caution. Sudden extreme temperature changes should be avoided to prevent cracking and color fading.
GREEN TOURMALINE - still sometimes called "Brazilian Emerald" in error. The green tourmaline comes in a large variety of colors. Its strong dichroism makes one direction of the stone appear very dark and non-transparent. Green tourmaline is often heat treated to improve its clarity. The preferred green tourmalines are found in East Africa and are colored by chromium. Green tourmaline is due to a presence of ferrous iron, chromium or vanadium.
PINK OR RED OR RUBELLITE TOURMALINE - rubellite tourmalines remain red in daylight and incandescent light. Red and pink tourmaline are mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Nigeria and Madagascar. Pink and red tourmaline are often irradiated to enhance their color. Red is usually considered the most precious of tourmaline species. Pink color is due to presence of manganese.
PINKISH PURPLE or VIOLET - found in Brazil, can be confused with amethyst.
CAT'S EYE TOURMALINE - found in red, blue, green and pink. Usually this is a treated stone.
BLUE TOURMALINE (INDICOLITE OR INDIGOLITE) - this has not been found in commercial quantities, so it has become a collector's preferred choice. This type of tourmaline resembles sapphire. This tourmaline is found in a blue with a slight green color. The rarest is the Paraiba tourmaline, found in Brazil, this tourmaline has an intense green or violet color, or may have a bright turquoise-blue color.
YELLOW, ORANGE, BROWN, OR GOLDEN TOURMALINE - yellow or orange may be found in nature, but are often irradiated light yellow or green tourmalines.
COLORLESS OR WHITE TOURMALINE - can be produced naturally or created by heating pale pink tourmaline.
BLACK TOURMALINE - (mineralogical name - SCHORL). A common opaque stone.
BICOLORED OR MULTICOLORED TOURMALINE - pink and green are the most common varieties or this mixed stone. Most valued when distinct and darker colors are present.
Crystal system: hexagonal (trigonal)
Refractive Index 1.62 - 1.65
Double Refracting, uniaxial negative
Specific Gravity: 3.00 - 3.26
With a hardness of 7 to 7.5, on the Mohs' Scale, tourmalines are considered fairly hard, though heat treated stones will not be as strong.