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Stone of the Month June 2022: Tourmaline

 English Version here


In June, everything goes its harmonious way. Our findings from the first months of the year result in growth and successes, satisfaction sets in. The already achieved by us becomes outwardly visible, bases for a also lastingly good development are created. Nature grows and thrives, everything is full of life and desire. 

The family of tourmalines can support us in various aspects: while the green tourmaline directs our gaze gratefully to the miracle of life and strengthens interest in our fellow human beings, the pink tourmaline helps us to be dedicate ourselves emphatically and full of devotion to our tasks. Black Tourmaline (black) promotes serenity and protects us from external influences. Thus, we can use the power of tourmaline according to our personal needs.
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Mineralogical profile

Chemical Forml (general formula tourmaline): Na,K,Li,Ca(Mg,Fe,Mn,Al)3(Al,Fe,Cr,Mn)6[(OH,F)4(BO3)3(Si6O18)]
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Mineral class: complex boron minerals of ring silicates
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Evolution: primarily from acidic, boron-bearing magma, as a typical contact mineral by action on surrounding rock. Tourmaline may be primary-liquid magmatic, -pegmatitic-pneumatolytic, or -hydrothermal. The variety of Tourmaline depends on the nature of the rock and magma and its contact.
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Transparency, luster: transparent to translucent; vitreous

Crystal system: trigonal

Coar hardness: 7 - 7.5

Splitability, fracture: None; small-muscle to brittle

Appearance: Tourmaline forms crystals with a triangular cross-section, with the side faces of prismatic crystals curving outward and typically showing distinct longitudinal striations. Long prismatic crystals are most commonly found with trihedral tips, smooth end faces, or irregular fibrous terminations; needle-like habit is referred to as tourmaline rods.

Findings
Tourmaline occurs almost worldwide, with 64 countries providing known collector material. The important group of liddicoatites comes exclusively from Madagascar. Significant sites for tourmalines are in Brazil, including the Paraiba district, home of the rare and sought-after Paraiba tourmaline. Another significant deposit was discovered in Nigeria in 1998.


Strings, jewelry and more made of tourmaline in various colors can be found here in our web store for resellers

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Varieties and colors

The numerous varieties of the tourmaline group can be distinguished according to their chemical composition. Currently, 12 differentTourmalines are usually differentiated:

Buergerite - brown sodium-aluminum-iron Tourmaline

Chromdravite - green sodium-magnesium-chromium Tourmaline

Dravite - mostly brown sodium-magnesium-aluminum Tourmaline

Elbaite - multicolored lithium-sodium-aluminum-.Tourmaline

Feruvite - black calcium iron aluminum tourmaline

Foite - dark indigo blue iron aluminumTourmaline

Liddicoatite - multicolored lithium-calcium-aluminum tourmaline from Madagascar

Olenite - pale pink sodium-aluminum tourmaline, named after its locality on the Olenek River in Siberia

Povondrait - black sodium iron tourmaline

Silver - black sodium iron aluminum tourmaline

Tsilaisite - dark yellow sodium manganese-.Aluminum tourmaline

Uvite - mostly brown calcium-magnesium-aluminum tourmaline


More common than the above mineralogical names are the trade names based on color, regardless of chemical composition:

Achroite (Greek. "the colorless") - clear, colorless Tourmaline

Indigolite (Greek "blue stone") - blue to indigo Tourmaline

Rubellite (lat. rubellos  "reddish") - pink to red Tourmaline

Apyrites (Greek. a-pyrites "without fire") - violet Tourmaline

Tourmaline (black) - black Tourmaline

Verdelite (lat. viridis "green") - green tourmaline

Tourmalines exist in all colorsn the rainbow and many other shades. In a crystal also color combinations can occur. Specialities include watermelon tourmaline with a red core and green rim, and moor's head tourmaline, a colored crystal with a black tip. Most tourmaline varieties are available only as expensive collectibles, i.e. as a crystal or specimen, or as a polished gemstone.  

Name Origin and Synonyms

In Europe, the term "tourmaline" has been in use since the beginning of the 18th century. The name is derived from  "thuramali" or "thoramalli", the Sinhala word for "stone of mixed colors".

Tourmaline became known in Europe through the extensive natural collection of the physician and botanist Paul Hermann, who worked as a doctor for the Dutch East India Company in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in the 1670s. 

Old synonyms for tourmaline in general are ash trekker, ash puller (due to electrical attraction), mountain flax (fibrous), iochroite, kalbaite, toramalli, trip as well as zeuxite. There are a variety of synonyms and trade names for the numerous different colored tourmalines. For example, emeralite and cromolite are other names for green tourmaline, light yellow tourmaline is also called canary tourmaline, and siberite is another name for purple tourmaline.


You can find tourmaline specimens, crystals, jewelry and more here in our online shop


Processing and Usage

Tourmalines are popular jewelry and therapy stones. For gemstone cutters, tourmaline can be very challenging due to internal stress in the crystals and because of its characteristic pleochroism. The strong pleochroism (colors and their intensity change when the stone is viewed from different angles) occurs because of birefringence. With the exception of Tourmaline (black), the members of the Tourmaline family belong to the higher price ranges. Top prices are achieved by the Paraiba Tourmalines thanks to their bright colors of sapphire blue, emerald green, purple, turquoise and pink. 


Famous Tourmaline Collections and Tourmalines

One of the world's most famous collections of Tourmaline slices can be found in the Crystal Museum Riedenburg (Altmühltal, Lower Bavaria). There, more than 800 tourmalines can be marveled at - particularly fascinating here are tourmaline discs illuminated from behind, the "crystallized rainbow".

The tourmaline has also made its way into the world of sports as early as 1949, as the rim of the German championship cup, which is awarded as a challenge cup for winning the German championship, has 21 green tourmalines set into it. 


Historical

The colorful Tourmalines fascinate and accompany people since before the time before the birth of Christ. The presumably first description of the gemstone is found in the work "De lapidibus" of the Greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastos of Eresos (371 - 287 BC). Also in the well-known "Naturalis historia" of Pliny the Elder is reported about 77 AD about Tourmaline.

Tourmaline was often equated or confused with other gemstones for lack of mineralogical knowledge and gemmological examination methods. Thus, for example, the Portuguese believed in the 16th Jhdt., they had on the Brazilian gemstone fields of Minas Gerais. Three hundred years later, science caught up with this mistake, and the "Brazilian Emerald" was correctly identified as Green Tourmaline. Tourmalines were the favorite gemstones of our culture. and gemstones of the Biedermeier.



Applications in stone medicine

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Because of its good electrical conductivity and its richness in minerals, tourmaline is generally a dynamic, uplifting and invigorating therapeutic stone. It helps to unite spirit, soul, mind and body into a harmonious whole. The individual varieties of tourmaline show many special properties depending on their color and composition:

Blue (Indigolite)
Faithfulness and ethics; dissolves negativity and blockages; makes open, tolerant, promotes love of truth and a sense of responsibility

Brown (Dravite)
Sense of community; promotes helpfulness and social commitment; brings pragmatic creativity and manual dexterity.

Yellow
Happiness; promotes a happy, contented life and confidence in one's abilities; strengthens memory, enterprise, and positive worldview.

Green (Verdelite)
Thankfulness; helps to see the wonders of life; promotes interest in fellow human beings and the environment.

Paraiba Tourmaline
Love, beauty; enables experiencing the all-encompassing love for the world and all beings, brings deep dreams.

Polychrome
Wholeness; helps to unite spirit, soul, mind and body into harmonious unity; stimulates imagination and dreams; helps to recognize and control developments.

Red (Rubellite)
Lively; makes sociable, lively, promotes pleasure in sexuality; helps to devote oneself actively, emphatically and with dedication to a cause.

Violet (apyrite, siberite)
Wisdom; promotes deep peace of mind and helps to see other people and the world "whole"; helps to find the best ways to solve problems.

Watermelon Tourmaline
Understanding; promotes love, friendship and security, relieves anxiety and negative thoughts; helps to clearly express one's intention

Because, with the exception of Tourmaline (black), Tourmaline crystals are usually very small, the gemstone's energy often comes into play as a bracelet, necklace or other piece of jewelry. 


Chakras and Astrology

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The color varieties of tourmalines determine the assignment to the chakras. Red tourmalines for the root chakra, orange for the sexual chakra, yellow for the solar plexus chakra, green and roas for the heart chakra, light blue for the throat chakra, dark blue ones for the brow chakra, and purple and white ones for the crown chakra. 

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American author Melody made an astrological assignment of the different varieties of tourmaline: 
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Colorless Achroite: Aquarius; yellow Tsilasite: Leo; light pink elbaite: Libra; pink rubellite: Sagittarius, Scorpio; blue indigolite: Libra, Taurus; brown dravite: Aries; green verdelite: Capricorn; Tourmaline (Watermelon): Virgo, Gemini


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You can find our assortment of necklace strands, silver jewelry and other items made of tourmaline here