>> Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tourmalines are gems that come in an incomparable variety of colours. The reason, according to an old Egyptian legend, is that the tourmaline, it has passed from rainbow on their way to the earth's surface. In doing so, it assumed all the colours of the rainbow. And that is why it is still referred to as the 'gemstone of the rainbow' today. The name tourmaline comes from the Singhalese words 'tura mali'. In translation, this means something like 'stone with mixed colours', referring to the colour spectrum of this gemstone, which outdoes that of all other precious stones.
Black tourmaline accounts for the majority of tourmaline that has been found, but tourmaline in hues of blue, red, green, yellow and purple are also available. There is even a variety of tourmaline called "watermelon tourmaline" that is green tourmaline with pink tourmaline at its center. This variety is particularly beautiful for jewelry.
Unlike amethyst and topaz, tourmaline has escaped inordinate exploitation on the Brazilian market, probably because it is rarer and consequently more expensive. It is a mineral group of varying composition occurring in different colours, especially green, blue and grey. Pink specimens are known as rubellite.
Tourmaline has a deep brilliance and rich colouring. Transparent specimens being quite common, the stone is either cut en cabochon or faceted. Specimens with inclusions are used for beads.
Green tourmaline should not be confused with emerald, or red tourmaline with ruby. It has a wide distribution and is especially diffuse in Brazil and Madagascar.
No two tourmalines are exactly alike. This gemstone has an endless number of faces, and for that reason it suits all moods. No wonder that magical powers have been attributed to it since ancient times. In particular, it is the gemstone of love and of friendship, and is said to render them firm and long-lasting.