Tourmaline

Category  :  Silicate mineral group
Hardness  :  7 - 7.5
Gravity  :  3.17 (+/- .04)
Reflection  :  1.64 / 1.62
Color  :  Most commonly black, but can range from brown, violet, green, pink, or in a dual-colored pink and green.
Chemical formula  :  (Ca,K,Na,[])(Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr, Fe,V)6
                                (BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4
Crystal system  :  system Trigonal
Major varieties  :  Cordierite (Or Water Sapphire)

Tourmaline is classed as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors. The name comes from the Sinhalese word "turamali" or "toramalli", which applied to different gemstones found in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Brightly colored Sri Lankan gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. At the time it was not realised that schorl and tourmaline were the same mineral.

Rubellite

The color varies from pink of varying degrees of intensity to a red which is quite attractive. It has strong pleochroism, sometimes visible as a deeper color or lesser transparency along the axis of the prism. It is cut into all shapes; cabochons when the stone is too full of inclusions, but more often faceted oval, round, pear-shaped or other creative styles.

Indicolite

Generally indicolite is quite a deep blue, even the color of dark blue ink, perhaps appearing green in one direction because of its strong pleochroism. Stones are often clear and free of inclusions, but intense pleochroism may make them so dark in one direction as to appear lacking in transparency. This gem is given mixed, faceted and also rectangular, step cuts. It generally has good luster.

Green Tourmaline

Green colored tourmaline comes in a wide range of different shades. Shades may include the yellowish-green of some olivines, or the stronger, deeper green of others; a lightish paintbox green, some like zircons, is also possible as is a stronger version of this color. If the stones are small, they are most often given a round or roundish oval cut. Mid to light colored specimens have a good luster. Darker stones often look a bit opaque.


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