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Behind the Birthstone: Tourmaline for October

A gemstone found in a wide variety of colors, tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymph nods. Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all of its colors. It is also believed to aid in misfortune and protect travelers from falls.

Both Libras and Scorpios can find a wide selection of tourmaline jewelry to add to their birthday wish list at Borsheims, including the pink-hued variety, October’s official birthstone. To help celebrate this gem, we’ve rounded up a few fun facts and some new arrivals to for gifting inspiration.

  • The name Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) word tura mali which translates as the stone of mixed colors.
  • Brazil is one of the world’s main sources of this gemstone. Others include Afghanistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the United States and Zambia.
  • They are also pyroelectric and piezoelectric – becoming electrically charged when heated or squeezed.
  • This is the only common gemstone that has three-sided prisms thanks to its crystallization process.
  • Ancient magicians used black tourmaline as a talisman to protect against negative energy and evil forces. Today, many still believe that it can shield against radiation, pollutants, toxins and negative thoughts.
Marika watermelon tourmaline and diamond necklace
  • It’s generally agreed that traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colors. Manganese produces reds and pinks, and possibly yellows. Some pink and yellow tourmalines might owe their hues to color centers caused by radiation, which can be natural or laboratory-induced.
  • Some more popular tourmaline varieties include:
    • Indicolite is a dark blueish black stone.
    • Paraíba tourmaline, named after the place where it was first found in Brazil, is a trade term for vividly saturated green to blue or violet copper-bearing elbaite tourmaline.
    • Rubellite is a deep reddish purple stone.
    • Schorl is the name given to black tourmalines which are the most commonly found tourmalines.
  • The most expensive type of tourmalines are the blue indicolite, green verdelite and pink rubellite.
  • Chrome Tourmaline is colored by chromium resulting in a beautiful green stone that is often confused with emerald or the tsavorite garnet.
  • The first recorded green tourmaline was discovered during Francisco Spinoza’s 1554 expedition and received the nickname “Brazilian emerald”.
  • “Parti-colored” tourmalines exhibit two or more colors in a single gem, such as watermelon (green on the outside and pink on the inside) and liddicoatite tourmaline. “Bicolor” tourmaline displays two distinct color zones.
  • Cat’s Eye Tourmaline exhibits a “cat’s eye” effect similar to what is commonly seen in tiger’s eye cabochons.

For more tourmaline facts, treatment and care tips visit our gemstone guide here and browse below for necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets sure to put a smile on any October babies’ face.





Facts sourced from American Gem Society and The Gemological Institute of America
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