Name: Tourmaline
Color(s): Most commonly black, but can range from brown, gold, blue, violet, green, pink, or in a dual-colored pink and green.
Mineral Information: Aluminum borate silicate
Chemical Make-up: (NaLiCa)(Fe11MgMnAl)3A16((OH)4(BO3)3Si6)18)
Hardness: 7 – 7 1/2
Where they are found: It is found all over the world.
About Stone: Although it can be found many places, fine specimens useful for jewelry are still considered rare and valuable. It occurs naturally in columnar formations that are often triangular in cross-section.
In ancient times it was believed that Tourmaline glowed due to is very own energy, as the stone become electrostatically charged when partaking in friction.
There is an old Egyptian legend that tells the story of how the Tourmaline, when making the long trip from the earth heart up towards the sun, it traveled along a rainbow, and on it’s travels it collected all the colors in the rainbow for it’s own.
Tourmaline displays a greater range of colors than any other known gemstone. The most common color available is black, but every color of the rainbow can be found. There is a tourmaline color that can mimic almost any other gemstone. This is why it is one of the most interesting gems to gemologists and jewelry designers. At one time, red tourmalines were thought to be rubies. Many stones in the Russian Crown jewels from the 17th Century once thought to be rubies are actually tourmalines. The word ”rainbow” is used to describe the colors of tourmaline figuratively, because in reality, tourmaline’s diverse array of colors is not limited to the spectrum of the rainbow.
Tourmaline is renowned as the gem of sensitive poets and creative artists. Shakespeare even had a small collection of tourmaline jewelry to help him overcome writer’s block. Tourmaline is believed to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers during the renaissance through the late 1800s. Perhaps this gemstone is believed to encourage artistic imagination because it has many faces and can express every mood though color.
The rarest member of the tourmaline family is pink tourmaline. In fact, it is even rarer that a ruby! The Empress Dowager Tz’u-hsi (tzoo-she), the last Empress of China, adored and avidly collected pink tourmaline. During her lifetime, she bought nearly a ton of it from the Himalaya Mine in California, USA. When she died, she was laid to rest among all her jewels, and her head was set upon a prized pillow of carved pink tourmaline.
When heated or rubbed, tourmaline acquires an electric charge and attracts small objects like dust, ashes and other lightweight objects. This phenomenon is called piezoelectricity (pay-zoh-electricity), and it is considered a unique property. The first documented record of piezoelectricity is in the early 18th century.
Zodiac Association: Libra
Metaphysical Properties: Attracts inspiration and diminishes fear by promoting understanding. It encourages self-confidence. Strengthens body & spirit, and is good for the nervous system. Very good for people with weakened immune systems. Recommended for people who wish to better understand their own spirituality