Adaptable and Versatile Looks With Tourmaline
Legend says that when tourmaline came into being, it slid down the rainbow and inhabited all of its different colors. It's undoubtedly true that these gemstones come in just about every color, and it makes them useful for all sorts of jewelry. Bracelets, necklaces, rings, pins, and earrings all take advantage of the sparkling stone to create plenty of unique and fun designs. Finding the right tourmaline jewelry piece for you simply means finding out what colors and styles match your needs.
Types of Tourmaline
The most common type of tourmaline is Schorl, but this stone goes by a variety of names and has a wide range of looks. Rubellite, Liddicoatite, Elbaite, and Paraíba are just a few of the named tourmaline varieties. They also appear in many shades and hues. Watermelon tourmaline has a pink center surrounded by green on the outside. Dravite tourmaline colors include yellow, orange, and brown tones, changing color depending on the stone's angle. It even appears completely clear as quartz sometimes.
The region tourmaline gems come from has much to do with their appearance. Africa, Brazil, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and even the United States all offer their own types of tourmaline. Sometimes, a green or blue hue is produced when copper becomes part of the stone. In others, bi-, or even tri-colored gems, are caused by mixing various minerals and inclusions.
The History of Tourmaline Jewelry
The first tourmaline crystals surfaced around 1554 in Brazil. An expedition led by Francisco Spinoza came across green crystals that they initially called "Brazilian Emeralds." Legends about these mystery stones appeared in other countries as well, including Egypt. In the 1800s, scientists rediscovered the stone in Sri Lanka. It then received its name from the word "toramalli," which means "mixed gems." From then on, the stones popped up worldwide, causing new surges in their popularity every so often.
Its use in jewelry was especially strong in the Chinese market, but it makes appearances in numerous cultures. Red tourmaline jewelry came out of Afghanistan, and blue came from the Paraíba area of Brazil. Rings, pendants, and bracelets all take advantage of the colorful shine as accents or centerpieces.
Selecting a Stone That Suits Your Style
A lot of this comes down to what color and fashion you prefer. If you want a piece that shows off a single color in large carat sizes, consider rings or necklaces with one stone in a cushion, pear, round or oval cut. You can surround the center gemstone with smaller tourmalines or crystals in different colors for a touch of contrast. White gold or silver settings may give an opulent and classy look for lighter stones, especially earrings.
You can also use stones to express aspects of who you are or how you feel. Pink and orange stones may give off a sense of fun or bubbliness. Red may express love or elegance. You can also choose a jewelry piece with multiple colors or bi-colored stones in fun patterns or designs.
Different Jewelry for Different Occasions
If you have a special event that needs a pop of vibrant color, tourmaline has you covered. Its bright hues add an accent to flat-colored clothing or to patterns. Pick more brilliant colors for the sunny seasons and blues or whites for winter. They also work for specific holidays and occasions. Watermelon tourmaline has blue and pink or red, which makes it suitable for Christmas. For Valentine's day, think pink or red stones in heart-shaped necklaces or earrings. For the winter months, opt for blue tourmaline and transition to green tourmaline as spring arrives.
Tourmaline is also a birthstone for October, making an excellent jewelry gift for someone born in that month. For a unique and complete look, you can pair it with other October birthstones, such as opal or garnet.
Tourmaline Jewelry: FAQs Answered
With such a varied stone, questions may come up easily. With these straightforward answers, you can determine how best to choose, wear and clean your tourmaline jewelry.
How do you care for your tourmaline?
This stone has a MOHS hardness rating of 7 to 7.5. Because of this, it's fairly hardy and works for everyday wear. Even then, it will need cleaning to retain its shine and luster. Try to avoid wearing rings or bracelets in high-octane activities where they could become scratched or dented. It should also remain stored in dark places when not in use to preserve its color.
When cleaning, do not use an ultrasonic cleaner. Many stones have inclusions that make their structure more vulnerable to damage from these machines. They attract dust as well, so clean them with a soft cloth, warm water, and mild detergent when needed.
Does tourmaline have healing properties?
Some cultures believe that tourmaline can improve both your mental and physical health. Specific colors and types may promote happiness, self-confidence, spiritual sense, and healing. These beliefs say that regular wearing one may help balance your life and keep away your fears. For other cultures, the color itself is crucial. Green tourmaline might be good for your heart, whereas black tourmaline helps soothe anger. Of course, simply wearing a sparkling stone may put a smile on your face, either way.
How do you find out the stone's quality?
Tourmaline often has inclusions or imperfections, especially in many of the colored stones. However, that doesn't necessarily lower its value. They come measured in carats, with larger stones being worth more. Really rare colors, such as neon-blue Paraíba or raspberry-red rubellite, indicate a higher-quality stone. Cats eye tourmaline, with multiple colors in an iridescent shine, are particularly sought after. Most of all, if you find a large stone without any imperfections or flaws, that's when you have a really high-class gem.
No matter your style, mood, or color preference, tourmaline has something exceptional to offer you. Wear these stones on your ears, neck, wrists, or fingers to make a statement about who you are or to accent your favorite outfit for any occasion.