Tourmaline: A Stone of Mixed Colors

Pink Tourmaline Irene Earrings
Irene Neuwirth pink tourmaline earrings, available at Squash Blossom.
Tourmaline and Sapphire Ring
Irene Neuwirth tourmaline and sapphire ring, available for a limited time at the Squash Blossom.

For the past several centuries, tourmalines have been enormously well-liked throughout the world.  A significant portion of their appeal comes from the vast spectrum of colors. Tourmalines have been known to range in color from pastel pink to dazzling green to subtle yellow to ocean blue.

Tourmalines have long been mined for their use in jewelry.  Spanish conquistador Francisco Spinoza made the first recorded discovery of a green tourmaline in 1554, which he deemed a “Brazilian emerald.”

Green Blue Tourmaline Ring
Irene Neuwirth greenish blue tourmaline, available for a limited time at the Squash Blossom.

It wasn’t until the 1800s that tourmalines were defined as a distinct mineral group and given their name based on the Sri Lankan Sinhalese word “toramalli,” meaning “mixed gems” or “stone of mixed colors.”

Few stones have the wealth of colors that tourmalines have. Often times, they will show multiple colors in the same stone and at different angles in the light they will show different colors.

Designer Irene Neuwirth, a connoisseur in jewelry featuring gemstones, often uses tourmalines in all their varying colors.

Green Tourmaline Necklace
Irene Neuwirth green tourmaline necklace, available at the Squash Blossom.

Squash Blossom gemologist Amanda Gimlin says, “The vast color range of tourmalines is exciting.  There is a tourmaline color for every type of person.”

 

Learn more here from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) about the History and Lore of tourmalines.

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