Tourmaline made its way into the commercial gem industry in 1876 when George Kunz sold a green tourmaline gem to the famous Tiffany and Co. In the ensuing years, tourmaline gained great popularity as a gemstone, and its metaphysical properties have made it a favorite to metaphysical collects and practitioners.
Tourmaline is found in a wide variety of colors from black to bluish-black, dark brown, yellow, medium brown, blue to neon blue, lime to dark forest green, red and reddish purple, yellow, pink, and colorless.
Tourmaline is the official birthstone for October as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It also the traditional birthstone for October, the stone for the Zodiac sign of Leo, and the accepted gem for the 8th wedding anniversary.
Sources of Tourmaline:
Tourmalines are mined everywhere in the world including Africa, Afghanistan, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the USA, and Zimbabwe.
History, Folklore and Legend:
Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all the the rainbow's colors.
The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which was the name given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time. This all inclusive name indicates the inability of ancient gem dealers to differentiate tourmaline from other stones. In fact, at one time in history, pink and red tourmaline were thought to be rubies. Pink tourmaline tends to be pinker in color than ruby. However, their similarities in appearance are so strong that the stones in the Russian crown jewels believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be tourmalines.
The Chinese have use tourmaline for centuries to carve and engrave figures. Some are even still on display in museums, a testament as to the durability of the stone.
For centuries, various cultures have had different beliefs about what virtues the tourmaline can bring to the wearer.
Ancient ceremonies in India included the use of tourmaline as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good. It also served as a tool to make known who or what was the cause of troubles or evil deeds in one’s life. The gem was also highly valued by alchemists who, perhaps because of it’s pyroelectric effect, believed it to be related to the philosopher’s stone. This was said to be the substance that would grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites and change base metals to gold. In modern times, the stone is used by tribes in Africa, Native Americans, and aboriginal groups in Australia as a talisman that protects against all dangers.
Throughout history, many “rubies” were actually misidentified spinel or rubellite (red tourmaline). It is only relatively recently, with the advent of modern gem testing and identification methods, that experts learned to discern differences between the similar looking red stones.
For example, the 352 carat Timur Ruby, a giant gem with a history from the 1300’s AD which is now part of the British crown jewels, was thought to be a ruby. Then, in 1851 it became clear that the gem was actually a red spinel. Another ruby-imposter in the British crown jewels is the 170 carat Black Prince’s Ruby, a huge bead-shaped red spinel that is set as a centerpiece in the Imperial State Crown.
Tourmaline Metaphysical Properties:
Tourmaline is said to be the stone with the most metaphysical properties.
Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymphs. It is also thought to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers.
Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite):
The soothing blue color promotes a calming effect, and offers relief from stress. Indicolite brings joy and happiness. It promotes harmony, tolerance and kindness.
Blue tourmaline also a higher awareness level and a better ability to communicate. Blue Tourmaline is an advanced healing tool and can aid one in releasing emotional stress one has held onto allowing one to create a future and move on from the past. It is also said to help relieve headaches and migraines.
Blue tourmaline is rarer than black, pink and green varieties and is found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.
This crystal is ideal for psychic protection for anyone who must work in challenging places or circumstances. It helps protect one against destructive energies and ‘bad vibes’.
Black tourmaline is also recommended for ridding oneself of negative thoughts, anxieties, anger and ideas of unworthiness. This stone also particularly helpful in relieving stress in their lives or work area because of its linear flow of energy.
This stone is found in Nepal, Brazil, Africa, Pakistan and in the USA.
This stone is most associated with love and other matters of the heart, and is the purest of the heart chakra stones. It is a representative of the feminine or yin energies and is unsurpassed as a gemstone in healing old emotional wounds.
This stone helps stimulate feelings of joy, happiness, love and relaxation. This stone is one of the strongest stones in helping to calm oneself and relieve stress in your life.
Many of the finest pink tourmaline crystals have been found in Pala, California, but they are also found in Brazil, Africa and Afghanistan.
Red Tourmaline (Rubellite):
This stone is mostly referred to as Rubellite due to its close similarity to the color of the Ruby.
Like pink tourmaline, this is also a very strong heart chakra stone and is very good in healing relationships and emotional wounds in ones life. It can help one overcome fear of stability, abundance, survival and safety. Rubellite can assist one in finding courage and strength to face and change challenging situations.
This stone is found in the USA, Africa and Brazil.
This is a cousin stone to the pink tourmaline and closely represents the heart chakra. It is the masculine counterpart to the feminine energies of pink tourmaline and can help enhance stamina and vitality in physical activities and can evoke courage and strength.
This stone is very useful in grounding oneself to the physical world and helps one overcome fear and to be able to confront situations in their life and to overcome bad habits.
This stone is found Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States and Africa.
This stone generally has a pink center and green ring around the outside. These are one of the most sought out tourmaline crystals.
Watermelon Tourmaline have a combination of the energies of pink and green tourmaline and thus amplifies their effects.
his stone is considered the stone of Joy. It brings positive energy to one’s life and alleviates stress and heals past emotional wounds.
Watermelon tourmaline can be found in any area where green and pink tourmaline. The finest crystals however are found in Brazil and Africa.
Brown Tourmaline (Dravite):
This stone is named after the Austrian mineralogist Drave. This stone generally opaque and when cut closely represents the smoky quartz.
Dravite is a good grounding stone and also helps one to confront the reality of things as they really are. It helps bring hidden and suppressed feelings and situations to the surface to be confronted and dealt with. It also provides a soothing and calming effect as well as courage to handle these situations and emotions without stress.
Most Dravite is found in Tourmaline deposits of Brazil.
This stone helps balance all of the chakras. It is very similar to crystal quartz but is generally found with bits of black tourmaline running through it and can be found in a cloudy opaque form to crystal clear.
This is one of the most powerful stones in clearing ‘bad vibes’ of all types and repairing the auric field in ones space. Tourmalated Quartz amplifies the energies of black tourmaline that reside within it. It rids one of negative energy and provides the strength to confront and handle situations one has ignored or suppressed. This stone also helps with depression and stress about bad news and situations one has come across.
This stone is mostly found in Brazil.
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