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