Tourmaline is a natural, colourful, semi-precious gemstone of the Cyclosilicates mineral group. It is found in a variety of colors ranging from black, brown, red, pink, purple, yellow to green, colorless and even bi color. Each color variety has its own metaphysical value in different astrological systems. For instance – Vedic astrology recommends Green tourmaline as the substitute of emerald gemstone. It is regarded as October birthstone in western culture. Gem healing therapy also advocates the use of Green Tourmaline for body detoxification and stress reduction.
Since ancient times, natural Tourmaline stone has been used by saints and healer for gaining protection and relief from physical and mental ailments. Even today, it is believed that tourmaline metaphysical properties cure the wearer on all grounds - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Supports Detoxification – Gem healers believed that Tourmaline gemstone has a powerful detoxifying effect that helps to expel toxins and harmful acids from the wearer’s body. It promotes positivity and brings happiness in the person’s life.
Protects from Bad Dreams & Evil Eye – Wearing tourmaline is strongly recommended to individuals suffering from insomnia or any sleep disorder. Its calming energies help to promote emotional healing, improve concentration power and ease sleep. Ancient people also believed that wearing Black tourmaline benefits the individual by offering protection against an evil eye and bad dreams.
Improves Health & Immunity– Some professional athletes have noted that wearing tourmaline powers their performance and allows quick recovery following a workout. Its curative properties help to cleanse liver, kidney, skin, blood and digestive system. Tourmaline healing properties also help in fat reduction, relieve stress and improve libido in men.
Origin – Paraiba Brazilian tourmaline commands the highest value amongst all tourmaline due to its breath-taking beauty and immense rarity in nature. They cost upward of Rs…… per carat ($...... approx.). Stones from origins like Mozambique tourmaline, Afghan tourmaline, Russian tourmaline, and Sri Lanka tourmaline serve as other valuable and popular choices.
Color – The price of tourmaline majorly depends upon the intensity, saturation and rarity of the color. Due to its intense hue and high demand, Rubellite, Watermelon tourmaline, Chrome tourmaline and Blue Paraiba fetch a higher cost. On the other hand, Pink tourmaline, green tourmaline and black tourmaline are more affordable.
Clarity – Like other gemstones, clarity in tourmalines is determined by the level of transparency and inclusions (its nature, volume and location). Eye clean tourmaline (in any color) with good transparency (except black) increases the price in the gemstone market. The presence of milkiness and eye visible flaws often disturb the gem’s nature beauty decreasing the Tourmaline overall worth. Black tourmaline or Schorl tourmaline are usually judged by the surface quality. Smoother and cleaner is the Black tourmaline surface, better is its value.
Cut – A beautifully faceted tourmaline with good symmetry enhances the color, luster and gem’s overall cost. In the market, tourmaline in commercial cuts like rectangular, square and emerald are more common and relatively affordable. On the other hand, the fancy tourmalines in highly customised cuts are sold at slightly higher prices because they involve more wastage of rough in the cutting process. Tourmaline cabochon always serves as an economical option as it causes minimum loss of rough stone.
Carat weight– The increase in Tourmaline price per carat with size depends upon the quality and rarity of the gemstone. For instance, Paraiba tourmaline price per carat increases exponentially for stones above few carats because they are exceptionally rare in large size. The fine quality red Rubellite prices per carat become high after passing first five carats. Black tourmaline is abundant in nature, hence, Black tourmaline price per carat doesn’t show any significant change for bigger size stones.
Origin, Color, Clarity, Luster, and Cut collectively influence the quality of a natural Tourmaline gemstone. While buying an AAA quality Tourmaline, it is important to keep these quality parameters in mind. According to the gem experts, a real, genuine tourmaline having bright color, good transparency, lesser inclusions, and a proportionate cut is quite valuable and considered the best quality Tourmaline gemstone.
Origin – Tourmaline mines are located in different parts of the world including Madagascar, Nigeria, Namibia, Africa, India, Pakistan, Burma, Mozambique and USA. But the most prolific mines of Tourmaline are present in Brazil. Brazilian tourmaline stone is highly sought after for its mesmerising neon blue to green hues. Burmese tourmaline displays mesmerising red, pink and some bi colors and amazing brilliance.
Color – Tourmaline gemstones come in an unimaginable number of colors. Bright, rare and intense color tourmaline are the most valuable ones. This includes Paraiba, Rubellite, Indicolite, Chrome etc. Watermelon tourmaline is prized for its uniqueness and popularity. Too dark or pale tourmalines are relatively less in demand and not as coveted. However, buying a slight pale colored natural tourmaline is always better than paying for simulated, lab created or synthetic tourmaline with brighter hues.
Clarity – Being the cleanest variety, Green tourmaline gemstone is regarded as a Type I clarity gemstone which means they are expected to be transparent and free from eye visible flaws. Other color varieties such as blue, orange, red, purple etc. are categorised as Type II clarity stone because these crystals bear few natural inclusions which are acceptable. In contrast, the deep red (Rubellite) and Watermelon belong to Type III as they have more internal imperfections in the form of liquid inclusions, gas inclusions, net-like mesh or hollow needles due to geographical reasons. Overall, fewer inclusions and good transparency do make the gem more valuable.
Uniqueness (Cat’s eye tourmaline) – Interestingly, in special cases, the presence of the right type of inclusions can increase the tourmaline value. If microscopic rutile needles are present inside the raw tourmaline, an expert cut (perfectly polished cabochon) can result in a mesmerising Cats eye tourmaline. This tourmaline shows a rare phenomenon called Cats eye effect resembling the opening and closing of a cat’s eye when viewed under direct light.
Cut – It is noted that most of the loose tourmaline gemstones in the market are narrow and rectangular. This is because raw tourmaline crystals are found in nature as cylindrical rod shape and therefore cut according to reduce waste of rough stone. However, tourmalines can be found in other fancy shapes as well. But they are more precious and are little hard to find.
Tourmaline refers to the natural, semi-precious gemstones of the Silicate mineral family which is found in a plethora of colors. Tourmaline gemstones draw their color from the element traces present in them. Depending upon the element traces, Tourmalines comes in following mineral variation – Buergerite, Chrome Dravite, Dravite, Elbaite, Foitite, Feruvite, Olenite, Liddicoatite, Uvite, Schorl and Povondraite.
The term ‘tourmaline’ is derived from a Singhalese term ‘Turmali’ translated as ‘mixed stones’. Because of the wide color range, ancient Egyptians believed that tourmaline received their color from passing over the rainbow. This gemstone not just has a pleasing appearance but also comes with a mesmerising magnetic effect. Ancient healers find Tourmaline find this gemstone an effective aid for body detoxification and admired the warm healing properties of this magnificent gemstone.
Purchased a certified gemstone serves as the most reliable method to ensure the identity and authenticity of a natural gemstone. The lab testing labs issue a Tourmaline Identification certificate that includes information about the gemstone species, color, weight, dimension etc. At Zodiacgems, one can find a good collection of original gemstones pre-certified by some internationally recognised gemmological institutions like GIA, IGI, GII, GRS, C- Dunaigre, Gubellin etc.
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