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Tourmaline Consumer Information

Color

Rubellite – pink to red range, may also be brownish, orangy, or purplish

Verdelite – yellow green to bluish green

Indicolite – violetish to greenish blue

Dravite – yellow to brown tourmalines. One bright yellow variety has been called “canary tourmaline” in the trade

Paraiba tourmaline – eclectic, radiant, blue

Clarity

Different varieties of tourmaline tend to have different clarities. Thus while large clean tourmalines in the blue and blue-green colors are available, almost all red and pink tourmalines will show eye-visible inclusions

The most common inclusions in tourmaline are fractures and liquid-filled healed fractures. Needle inclusions are also common

Treatment

Heating: This treatment aims to produce lighter green gems and blue green colours from overly dark gems. In cuprian elbaites (paraiba tourmalines), heating causes some dark purple material to become strongly greenish blue or deep blue. There are some undesirable effects of heating: some pink and red tourmaline may fade to nearly colourless upon heating

Irradiation: This treatment was used to produce darker red gems from light pinks.

Cut

Tourmalines’ elongated, prismatic crystals dictate how the gemstones are cut, often resulting in very long, rectangular shapes. While tourmalines can be cut in all shapes and sizes, rectangular shapes predominate. Crystals often exhibit more than one colour; in such cases bi-colour or parti-colour gemstones result. On rare occasions, tourmalines are also carved.

Care

Tourmalines should only be cleaned with a soft damp cloth or a soft bristle toothbrush

Collector gems:

Paraiba tourmalines, particularly those from Paraiba, Brazil

Copper bearing gems from Mozambique and Nigeria: recent production has lagged at these sources

Strong color tourmalines from limited, high quality pockets

Bi-color and cat’s eye tourmalines

Tourmaline References in Antique Gemological Books

General Tourmaline Overviews

Streeter: Tourmaline Locations and Value

Wodiska: 10 Pages on Tourmalines

Feuchtwanger: Tourmalines (also origin of colors)

Rocks and minerals: dealer listings

Tourmaline Properties

Electric Stones: Scientific studies of Tourmaline’s electrical properties.

Catelle: “Tourmaline and other gemstones

USA Tourmaline (Maine, California, NY City)

Maine Tourmaline Mining

Bastin’s “Pegmatites in Maine“.A complete book on Maine’s Tourmalines !!

George Frederick Kunz on Maine Tourmaline

Kunz report in USGS 1908 on “Maine Tourmaline

Another USGS 1913 report on “Tourmaline in Maine

On the discovery of “Maine Tourmaline”

Descriptions of Several top piece of Mineral Specimens

Pala Tourmaline

USGS 1916 Description of pink and green Tourmaline pockets.

USGS 1906 King mine Pink and Green Tourmaline production overview.

USGS 1907 has a lot: Pink, Green Pala Tourmaline and a new Tourmaline pocket

USGS 1912: Description of purchase Morgan/American Museum Pink Tourmaline pieces at end of chapter

Tourmaline Other

European localities of “Black Tourmaline”

More USA Tourmaline Localities

Exceptional New York Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite)

Black Tourmaline (Schorl)

Manhattan Island Black Tourmaline unique specimens

Himalaya Mine and “Black Tourmaline

Barrus Place, Goshen, Black Tourmaline Leiperville,

Delaware County top quality “Black Tourmaline”