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Tourmaline

Tourmalines have a wide variety of exciting colours with one of the widest colour ranges of any gem.

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26.32-ct.

This 26.32-ct. oval pink tourmaline is from Mozambique.

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Rubellite

Trade name for pink, red, purplish red and orangey red tourmaline.

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Inclusions

It’s not unusual for pink tourmalines to have eye-visible inclusions.

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California

This beautiful tourmaline mineral specimen is from California.

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Columnar Form

The specimen displays tourmaline’s characteristic columnar form.

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Fantastic Crystal

Fantastic pink tourmaline crystal with quartz with other minerals.

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Tools

Buyer's Guide

Tourmalines not only show every hue of the rainbow, but also an incredible range of colour saturations and tones - from expensive electric blues to affordable olive greens.

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What to look for

Cushion-cut tourmaline
Colour Is The Most Important Quality Factor For Tourmaline

With all the amazing colours of tourmaline there is a colour for every preference. While highly saturated colours without dark black areas are the most valuable, less saturated “earth” colours have become popular.

Green tourmaline
Clarity Refers To The Inclusions

Tourmalines often grow in an environment rich in liquids, and some of those liquids are often captured as inclusions during crystal growth. The most typical inclusions resemble thread-like cavities parallel to the length of the crystal. If cut as a cabochon these may cause a cat’s eye effect.

Honeycomb-cut tourmaline
Cut Is One Of The Most Important Factors In Appearance

Rather than cutting every tourmaline lengthwise, many cutters orient a fashioned gem based on its depth of colour. To darken pale rough, they orient a gem’s table perpendicular to the crystal’s length. To lighten dark rough, they orient a gem’s table parallel to the crystal’s length.

Topaz buyers carat
Carat Weight Allows For Precise Measurements

Fashioned tourmalines in larger sizes rise considerably in per-carat price. Even though specimens can reach spectacular sizes, these are rare. Availability drops and prices rise sharply for facet-quality rough material.

Tourmaline Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide

Tips & Advice

1. There’s a tourmaline in your favourite colour.

Tourmalines in bright and muted colours span the spectrum. This gem is also perfect for those who like colour combinations, with bicolour and tricolour gems that are cut to show both colours.

2. Find a jeweller who can show you a variety of tourmaline.

Jewellers who know and love gemstones have a range of tourmaline colours available to show you.

3. Don’t compromise on cut.

The quality of the cut can make a big difference in beauty and brilliance. Your tourmaline should sparkle in a lively way, reflecting light back evenly across the entire gem. Poorly cut gems are much less marketable and sell at a discount.

4. Tourmalines present extra challenges to store displays.

Tourmaline’s unusual electrical “pyroelectric” property means when it heats up under the lights of display cases, it gains a slight charge, attracting extra dust.