PHYSICAL AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF TOURMALINE
Tourmaline designates a group of minerals belonging to Silicates, more precisely to cyclosilicates, of complex and very variable composition. The formula can be presented as: (Ca, Na) (Al, Fe, Li, Mg)3 B3 Al3 (Al3, Si6, O27). Tourmalines can be transparent, translucent, or even opaque. Their luster is vitreous and their fracture is uneven, conchoidal. Their crystal system is rhombohedral; they are found as six-sided prismatic crystals, grainy aggregates, compact, fibrous and radiating, like the characteristic "tourmaline suns". Tourmaline has a hardness of 7 to 7.5. It has a strong pleochroism, that is to say that its color changes according to the angle of observation and reveals a lighter shade and a darker shade.
There are many colors of tourmaline, some frequent like the elbaite variety (colorless, blue, green, pink) and others much rarer like the Watermelon variety (pink in the center, green on the edges, like watermelon …). Here are some examples :
Black tourmaline, although shiny, is opaque and sometimes has blue, green or brown nuances.
Rubellite, as its name suggests, is bright and deep red.
Afghan Tourmaline from the Kunar Valley is peach and soft green in color.
Indocolite is deep blue, while Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline has a whole range of bright, even electric blue tones!
Pink tourmaline resembles pink sapphire but at a much more accessible price. Others are yellow, orange, and even gray...
THE MAIN TOURMALINE DEPOSITS
Pegmatites are rocks of magmatic origin, which were formed from the liquid residues of the formation of nearby granite. Their composition is therefore close to that of granite, but their richness in water has allowed a good diffusion of minerals and favored the appearance of large crystals. This is how many gems appear, and among them, tourmaline… It is found in the form of rods with a triangular base, with convex faces.
The majority of tourmalines today come from Brazil. But, depending on the colors and varieties, these stones can come from Afghanistan (indicolites), India, Madagascar (rubellites), Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Burma, Russia (siberites) or Thailand. There are even some crystals in France but they are not used in jewelry.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TOURMALINE WELL?
The colors, shapes and prices of tourmalines are very varied, so you must above all rely on your tastes to choose your tourmaline jewelry . The intensity of its color and the quality of its size are the main selection criteria.
Tourmaline, was not too hard, is one of the gems quite easy to cut; however, it requires great skill to find the axis of growth and take into account the strong pleochroism of the stone. The color often varies within the crystal itself. All the art of the lapidary therefore consists in choosing the right place and common sense to cut, the shape that will best bring out the beautiful colors of the tourmaline. So, for example, the table should be parallel to the main axis for dark stones, and perpendicular for lighter stones. The cat's eye tourmaline is cut in a simple cabochon, whose base is parallel to the fibers, to bring out its shimmer.
TOURMALINE STORIES AND LEGENDS
The word "tourmaline" comes from the Sinhalese "thuramali", which means "stone with mixed colors" and which designated all the stones whose name was not specifically known. What a beautiful name for a stone that arrived on Earth by crossing a rainbow, imbued with all its colors, as the Egyptians believed!
Known in Europe since the very beginning of the 18th century, it was identified by the naturalist Buffon in 1759. The Empress of China Tzu Hsi, who reigned from 1860 to 1908, adored pink tourmalines and reserved the entire production of the mine in Stewart, Southern California!
Tourmaline has piezoelectric properties, that is, it becomes electrically charged under stress (pressure). It is also pyroelectric, meaning it charges with static electricity at its ends when heated. It is also called Ceylon magnet. That's why it's used in hair straighteners, whose purpose is to remove static electricity that causes frizz...
Its presence in the soil is sometimes the precursor to the formation of a gold deposit.
The tender pink tourmaline is often offered, mounted in a ring, on Valentine's Day.
It is undoubtedly its electrical properties that explain its use in geobiology. Tourmaline is reputed to protect habitats against bad waves, whether of technological origin (wifi network, mobile phones, etc.) or natural, such as the harmful zones of the Hartmann network, this electromagnetic grid that would cover the Earth.
The properties attributed to tourmaline vary depending on the type of gem. Black tourmaline would be particularly effective, placed in the four corners of a house, to protect it from a geobiological point of view. It would strengthen the muscles, especially the heart. The "watermelon" version would be effective against emotional problems. Rubellite would help keep the liver healthy, it would also protect the lymph and the joints, not to mention the circulatory system. Blue tourmaline has beneficial effects on glands such as the thyroid, while green tourmaline concentrates its benefits on blood problems (anemia, poisoning).
ASTROLOGICAL CORRESPONDENCES OF TOURMALINE
Tourmaline is associated with different astrological signs depending on its color. Thus, Aries will be helped by green tourmaline; the black one too, but she also has a good relationship with Scorpio. As for pink tourmaline, it keeps these two associations but adds an affinity with Libra. Tourmaline corresponds to the 52nd wedding anniversary, and it is the birthstone for October children.
The Science of Tourmaline
Tourmalines are an intricate mix of crystals of aluminum boron silicate with a highly complex and modifying composition, which gives it infinite natural possibilities of coloration.
Its color ranges from hazy clear with gorgeous inclusions of black tourmaline threads, to almost any possible color in the light spectrum, often being found having several tonalities in the same stone, and making none look alike.
Most of the tourmaline in today's market comes from Brazil, Madagascar and Sri Lanka, and it's considered to be one of the most broadly appealing gemstones in the world.
It has a hexagonal rhombohedral crystal system and a Mohs hardness of 7-7.5.
Tourmaline throughout History
This mineral's name comes from the Singhalese expression tura mali , literally meaning “stone with miscellaneous colors”
In the past, this beautiful mineral was considered extremely opaque to have any use as a proud gemstone, so only since the past two decades did tourmaline go from an exclusively decorative and
ornamental stone to a source of adoration from craftsman and jewelry designers from all over the world.
Particularly in its crystal clear with black threads coloration, tourmaline embodies the ultimate yin-yang energy, which made its demand ramp up over the past years.
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that tourmaline passed through a rainbow as it traveled all the way to Earth, making it absorb all of its colors.
Scientists have been amazed by its natural properties, for tourmalines can be effectively charged with electrical energy if strongly heated up and then allowed to slowly cool down. Tourmaline's healing properties
This mineral is said to allow its bearer to deeply get to know his own self, and to more easily understand other individuals' true colors.
By promoting responsible actions and increasing self-confidence, tourmaline reduces one's fear of experimenting new things. It's considered to be a stone that would fit every person, for it attracts and enhances human qualities that are fundamental, such as tolerance, compassion and creativity.
By balancing the spectrum of female and male energies within one's body, tourmaline frees the individual from tension and enhances one's natural energy.
Tourmaline is a stone of peace that boosts compassion, cooperation and reconciliations, while at the same time it attracts emotional and financial prosperity.
Given its hardness, this is one of the easiest minerals to care for. Still, jewelry made from it shouldn't be used when doing activities that have a high risk of making it suffer a strong bash that can damage It can be soaked in a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water for ten minutes and then gently scrubbed with a soft toothbrush; after properly drying it, it's ready to be stored or used again.