Tourmalines are one of the most intricate of all the gemstones and minerals found in the world is Tourmaline. Tourmaline is said to be a nightmare for any gemology student, due to the many elements that can be found within it.
While this gemstone is extremely complex, it is also very attractive and has plenty of fine attributes that make it popular and in demand by gem lovers around the world. Tourmaline is made from hydrous minerals and usually includes at least a half dozen elements. You can find lithium, aluminum, borate, silicon, potassium, nickel, iron, and manganese among others in this gemstone.
Tourmaline comes in a wonderful array of colors that range from black to red, to pink, yellow, green, blue, orange, etc. Practically every color is represented in Tourmaline. It should be noted that the color pink, blue and red are usually the colors that are the rarest and the most in demand. Being in demand, they usually command the highest prices. Other colors are more common and less expensive.
Tourmaline is found in metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. Many types of Tourmaline include Elbaite, which is a mineral that usually makes up Tourmaline. Tourmaline with Elbaite is almost always found in pegmatites. Common Tourmaline are known to occur in thousands of places, however gem grade Tourmaline is much less common, occurring in a few hundred mines around the world.
Most gem grade Tourmaline comes from Brazil, however other sources include the United States (specifically Maine and California), Russia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Burma, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Tourmaline is an exceptional gemstone that continues to fascinate gem lovers and gemologists. Tourmaline comes in a dizzying array of colors and is usually created from more than a dozen elements.
Tourmaline is usually considered first and foremost a gemstone; however, there are a handful of other uses for this wonderful mineral. They include many industrial uses and for those that are extremely spiritual, Tourmaline has many mystical properties. Usually Tourmaline is regarded as one of the most complex gemstones available and for those that love color, Tourmaline can usually be found in every color under the sun. Some of the well known colors are blues, yellows, reds, browns, greens, purples, pinks, black, etc. Tourmaline has a good hardness that is generally in the region of 7 to 7.5 on the Moh’s hardness scale.
This stone can be cut in practically any shape and can come in sizes larger than a few carats. Tourmaline also has many industrial, scientific and technological uses. One of the attributes of Tourmaline is that it can induce electrical charges by applying pressure against the vertical axis. This special quality is known as piezoelectricity and other minerals such as quartz also have this attribute. Tourmaline can also have the attribute of pyroelectricity, this is similar to a battery, where one end of the mineral has a negative charge and the opposite end has a positive charge.