Tourmaline is a stunning semi-precious gemstone that comes in various colours. It is one of the birthstones for the month of October; and is also given to mark the 8th anniversary of marriage. Tourmaline gets its name from the Sinhalese word ‘tura mali’ meaning mixed colour stones. Tourmalines come in various colours including red, pink, yellow, green and blue among other hues. Watermelon Tourmaline is bi-colour; pink in the centre and green around the outside. Tourmalines are a group of boron silicate minerals. They get their colour from their composition comprising of iron, titanium, magnesium among others. Tourmalines are highly desired by both royalty and the common person. They are said to bring confidence, prosperity and protection.
Brazil has been the world’s leading source of this gemstone for nearly 500 years. Pakistan, Afganistan, Tanzania, Namibia, Nigeria and North America (Maine) are prolific sources of the gemstone currently. Rumour has it that initial Spanish conquests of the gemstone in Brazil in the 16th century led them to confuse it with emerald. Obviously, modern mineralogy has cleared that up (some 100 years later!). China was a key exporter of the gemstone in the 19th century as the Empress Tz'u was a big fan of the gemstone and bought large quantities to be set in jewellery. She also commissioned sculptures and art to be made from pink Tourmaline… Stunning!
Tourmaline is a tough and long lasting gemstone. It sits well in all kinds of jewellery; be it earrings, necklaces, bracelets or rings. They add oomph and individuality to any look and can be paired effectively with most outfit choices. It goes without saying that they make great anniversary and birthday gifts! They are also great family heirloom jewellery items, passed from one generation to another. For inspiration, you can find the Hep Audrey Tourmaline pieces here.
You can see the famous Hamlin necklace (228ct) mostly featuring Tourmalines at the Geological Museum at Harvard University!