Every Gemstone Has a Story to Tell

Tourmaline this Summer ?

Tourmaline this Summer ?
The gemstone world is filled with plenty gems that will take your breath away but one of my constant favourites is the Tourmaline. It’s versatility in terms of colour and ease in cutting make it a pleasure to work with. This gemstone comes in the range of colours each having their own identity giving the gem family so much more mystery and opulence.

Formed in the Trigonal crystal structure, the rough is often seen in long crystals that are fashioned into rectangles, cushions or marquises. This is done to help retain maximum weight and create a more brilliant colour in the cutstone. The gem’s vitreous luster separates it from other gemstones along with its range of inclusions which I will cover through this post.
Tourmaline
Green Tourmaline
Seeing a vast increase in the fine jewellery sector that is adopting these colourful gems makes me even more ecstatic. Perfect for the summer its bright colours are sure to have everybody taking a second glance.

Numerous many varieties namely Green Tourmaline or Elbite in some parts of the world. Rubelite,the red or pink variety of tourmaline that tends to command very high prices in the market when they display strong colours. Another variety that I often see is the Candy Pink Tourmaline variety. Possibly a trade name it compares much to the likes of Candy Floss. Pink being one of my favourite colours,  these bonbon like stones are worth every penny and from my observation complement any skin tone in the right setting.

Pink Tourmaline (Rubelite) in the rough

Fluorescent, electric colours have become a big trend seen in tourmalines these days, and they are called Paraiba Tourmaline. Initially originating from the Paraiba region in Brazil, these stones display intense colours that they created a stir once they arrived on the market. Through my previous post I’ve already mentioned, Paraiba Tourmalines get their colour from the element copper that is present within. Some African tourmalines have also been recorded to have copper as a colouring agent adding their intense neon colours.

The Star of the Ocean, the largest Paraiba weighing 191.87 cts.

Watermelon Tourmaline is one of the most stunning varieties of Tourmaline because it brings together the warm colours of the reds and pinks with the cool colours of greens and blues in perfect harmony. Summer being at its peak, these stones bring out the freshness that you are looking for.

Tourmaline
Watermelon Tourmaline

Identifying a Tourmaline

If you are looking to identify your own Tourmaline, here’s what you should see through your loupe:

  1. Strong Doubling, i.e. if you look at facet junctions you will see double lines which speak of the gemstone’s strong birefringence.
  2. Tourmaline generally has Trichites, these are highly reflective liquid inclusions which appear be flattened within the stone and have a stringy appearance.
  3. Tourmalines can also have growth tubes present within the stone.
Growth tubes 
Trichites as seen in the gem
These are some of the most common inclusions present within Tourmalines, although there are a range of other visible inclusions as well.

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