Other Names: toramelli,thuramali
Origin of Name: Toramelli, from the Sri Lankan dialect
Meaning of the Stone: Pisces Zodiac sign
Region: Brazil, Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Afghanistan,Mozambique, Madagascar,Russia
Color: colorless, black,green,blue,yellow,brown, and some dual colored
Transparency: translucent to opaque
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5(3.02-3.41)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: amethyst,chrysoberyl, sapphire,ruby,topaz,zirkon
1. Legend and History:
The name Tourmaline derives from the Sri Lankan expression “tura malli” which literally means, stone of many colors; As there is a range of colors in which tourmaline is available, and some stones even show bi-colorations, it has been called the “rainbow gemstone”, especially in Ancient Egypt where the popular belief was that when Tourmaline travels from the depths of the earth, to the surface it brought with it a rainbow in order to announce its arrival, but also color itself.
Due to Tourmaline’s electrical properties it has often been used to transfer energy.
The Dutch first brought over Tourmaline to Europe in 1703, as at that time it was sparsely used as a gemstone, they also used it however in order to clean their pipes, due to the piezoelectricity which it exhibits, allowing for it to attract small particles of dust and ash.
In addition, Tourmaline is believed to stimulate artistic assets of its wearer, and thus has gained the belief to be a spiritual stone.
Cat’s eye Tourmaline is considered rather rare, and is more frequently being sought for due to its distinguishable beauty and effects and colorations which it exhibits.
2. Origin in nature and use:
Tourmaline is mainly found in pegmatites, granite, and metamorphic stone, i.e marble. It is a cyclosilicate mineral and is found with elements such as aluminum,iron,magnesium and potassium. Some of the world’s most beautiful Tourmaline gemstones are excavated in Brazil, and more specifically the Minas Gerais mines; One meter in length crystals have been found in 1978 in an area called Rocket,Rose of Italiaia.
Tourmaline however comes in certain species and varieties, such as, the Dravite species, Schorl species, Elbaite species, all receiving their names from the specific localities in which they were found.
4. Interesting Facts:
A unique tourmaline gemstone is found in Russia, and is 255 carats; At first however this gemstone was thought to be a ruby and was part of Rudolph II collection in Prague, possibly arriving from Burma.
5. Care and Storing:
Tourmaline must be cleaned only with soap and water; Steam or ultrasound is not recommended in order to care for such a gemstone. Colorful gemstone varieties of tourmaline are extremely fragile around the areas in which the colors change, thus must be treated with care and stored in presentation boxes away from harder stones.