In our previous article we discussed opals and now it is tourmaline’s turn.
The ancient Egyptians had a legend about tourmaline gemstones. They believed that these stones got their amazing colors because they broke through a rainbow while pushing their way up to the earth. It is a little rainbow fragment.
Tourmaline was introduced to the Western world in the early 1700’s. They were called turamali, meaning mixed colours. An apt name, as tourmalines have the greatest colour variance of all gemstones. From indicolite (shades of blue), to rubellite (from intense hot pink to red), verdelite (green to yellow) and even bi-colour and watermelon tourmalines.
Reaching 7 – 7.5 on Moh’s scale of hardness, it is a stone that can be set in jewellery and worn without worrying too much about wear and tear. If you want a pair of tourmaline earrings be warned: it is one of the most difficult stones to match up into pairs because of the extensive colour range.
Tourmalines require cleaning more often than other gemstones. When rubbed or heated, they become electrically charged and as a result attract dust, fluff and dirt.