Tourmaline (TOOR-muh-leen or TOOR-muh-lin) can occur in a wide range of colors, often more than one in a single specimen. Its name is derived from Sinhalese turamali, meaning “stone with various colors”. Schorl is the name of the most common variety of tourmaline, which is generally black to brownish-black, and accounts for approximately 95% of all tourmaline found in the world; it is usually quite opaque, and is rarely gemstone-quality. Tourmaline actually accounts for a very wide range of gemstones, so the trade names usually pertain to their colors; for example, pinkish-red tourmaline is called ‘rubellite’, blue-green is called ‘paraiba’, ‘indicolite’ is the name for the indigo-blue variety, and the popular ‘watermelon tourmaline’ is a gradient of green to pink, sometimes with white in between. Fortunately, tourmaline is almost never treated; the intensity and variety of color is easy enough to find naturally that manufacturers rarely see any benefit in “improving” their color or clarity.

Up until the early 1900s, the United States was the primary source of fine tourmaline, and it has been mined there for centuries; for these reasons, tourmaline is their national gemstone.

It has a Mohs hardness of 7 to 7.5 and a trigonal crystal structure.

It is the alternate birthstone for October (the main one being opal).

Locations: Brazil is a predominant source of tourmaline, and others include Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), India, Italy, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Properties: Each color of tourmaline has its own individual properties.

  • Black tourmaline transmutes negative energy into cleared, usable energy, which is especially useful if one is activating higher abilities, as it draws off and purifies all those energies which would normally complicate or obscure the process. Black tourmaline is also effective in dispelling stress, anxiety, worry, and obsession. It is among the best stones for grounding, making it a great companion for those who deal with challenging circumstances on a daily basis. Some use it to help cleans toxins, wastes, heavy metals, and environmental pollutants from the body.
  • Pink tourmaline activates the heart chakra, facilitating emotional cleansing and increasing feelings of enjoyment, calmness, and comfort. With a loving, feminine energy, it soothes and nurtures, guiding the wearer to heal childhood traumas and release those patterns which no longer serve them. This ability connects to the clearing of negative attachments and ‘filling’ of emotional holes, making it effective in clearing obsessive behavior and helping the emotionally numb recover their ability to enjoy life. Some believe that it can help with heart issues like angina, arrhythmia, and recovering from heart attacks.
  • Green tourmaline is also a heart chakra stone, but it is more focused on the circulation of energies in the body and calming the emotions. Some argue that it has a strong effect on the physical heart, strengthening and healing it, as well as being an aid for battling cancer and other cellular disorders.
  • Watermelon tourmaline combines and amplifies the properties of pink and green tourmaline.
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