An important group of complex gem-quality boron silicate minerals is known as tourmaline. The gemstone is found in as varying colors as in the rainbow. Tourmaline is known as the most versatile gemstone today all owing to its availability in different colors. The term tourmaline is believed to have been derived from the Sinhalese word “turamali” which literally means “stone with various colors”. An American mineral collector, George Kunz introduced tourmaline in green color to Tiffany and Co. which led to the curiosity and admiration for this gemstone leading to its populatiy. Dravite, uvite, schorl, liddicoatite and elbaite are all a part of the species of tourmaline. Schorl makes uppto 95 per cent of this gemstones deposits but yet it is not considered as one. Varieties of the elbaite family are what most tourmaline gemstones are. Most tourmaline is traded under very color specific varietal names. Some of the more popular trade names include pink-red ‘rubellite’, blue-green ‘paraiba’, blue ‘indicolite’ and multicoloured ‘Watermelon Tourmaline’ are some of the popular trade names. Colourless ‘achroite’, green ‘verdelite’ and ’chrome tourmaline’ are some of the lesser known trade names. Like sapphire, descriptive names such as ‘yellow tourmaline’ or ‘pink tourmaline’ are also commonly used to market the fancy-colored tourmaline gemstones.
Effects and Benefits
Tourmaline is believed to be a powerful detoxification stone that attracts positive energy and is a birthstone for people born in October. Traditionally, tourmaline is supposed to keep all the energies in balance along with affecting the various chakras of our body all depending upon its color. The red tourmaline is related to Muladhara which is the base chakra and is associated with sexuality, grounding and survival. Swadhisthana, or the sacral chakra is linked with the orange tourmaline which governs relationships, the sexual organs, pleasure, enthusiasm and creativity. Yellow tourmaline is related to the Manipura or the third chakra which is related to the digestive system, metabolism, anxiety and fear. The green tourmaline is believed to benefit Anahata, the fourth chakra which is concerned with communication, thought, expression and the thyroid gland.
1/10th of the body weight should be the carat of the stone. The price ranges from Rs450 per carat to Rs3,130 and above.
How to wear
The gemstone should be worn with gold or panchdhatu but can also be worn with silver. It can be worn as ring or pendant or a bracelet. Tourmaline is to be worn on the little finger of the left hand for the left handed people and the right hand for right handed people. 12pm on a Wednesday during a waxing moon would be an ideal time to wear.
Found in pegmatites and alluvial deposits all over the world, tourmaline is the national gemstone for the United States where it has been mined for centuries. The United States was considered the primary source for fine tourmaline until the early 1990. But today, the most essential or important tourmaline deposits come from Minas Gerais and Bahia, Brazil. Other tourmaline sources include Afghanistan, Australia, Burma, India, Italy, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.