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Tourmaline

 

 

Tourmaline
King of Color

Pick a color – any color – and you’ll find a beautiful tourmaline to match. Occurring in more colors and combinations of colors than any other gem variety, tourmaline offers both vibrancy and beauty. And if an incredible range of colors among different tourmalines isn’t enough, individual crystals can vary in color along their length or width. Gems cut from these multi-colored crystals may in fact show two or more color combinations in one gemstone!

Tourmaline has been historically confused with many other gemstones, and understandably so. The finest greens can rival an emerald or tsavorite garnet. Beautiful yellow and red tourmalines mimic the look of fine fancy sapphires. A relatively recent discovery of tourmalines in 1989 in the Paraiba state of Brazil revealed brilliant hues of blues and greens more vivid than any ever seen before. These Paraiba tourmalines have been described as neon green, electric blue and sizzling turquoise. Tourmaline’s colorful nature, increased availability and attractive affordability have led to a tremendous growth in its popularity over the past 20 years.

Birthstone
Pink tourmaline is a popular alternate for the month of October.

Origins
Some of the finest examples of tourmaline today are mined in Southern California near San Diego. Other important sources include Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Africa. The state of Maine is an important historical source for tourmaline and still produces small quantities today. 

Treatments
Some tourmalines are heated or irradiated to bring out their best color. Some treated tourmalines may fade if exposed to high heat or very prolonged exposure to intense light.

Care
Tourmaline is a hard gemstone that is resistant to both scratching and breaking, but it should be protected from sharp blows or sudden changes in temperature. Because of the natural internal characteristics found in some tourmalines, especially pinks and reds, ultrasonic cleaning machines should not be used.  Tourmaline can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain soap and water using a soft brush.

Photo: Robert Weldon, Professional Jeweler Magazine  © 2002-2005 Jewelers of America

 

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 Copyright © Curt Parker Jewelers

 

rev. January. 2017