GEMSTONE GUIDES

Tourmalines

Tourmalines are celebrated for their extraordinary diversity and captivating beauty. From vivid green tourmalines, fiery pink tourmalines and even watermelon tourmalines, they boast a spectrum rivalling the most vibrant rainbows. So, lets learn about their historical significance, symbolism and ultimately help you decide whether tourmaline is the gemstone for you.

GEMSTONE GUIDES

Tourmalines

Tourmalines are celebrated for their extraordinary diversity and captivating beauty. From vivid green tourmalines, fiery pink tourmalines and even watermelon tourmalines, they boast a spectrum rivalling the most vibrant rainbows. So, lets learn about their historical significance, symbolism and ultimately help you decide whether tourmaline is the gemstone for you.


Glossary

Mineral - Minerals are natural substances which are not organic (alive, or from something living). 


Inclusion - An inclusion is a cavity or crystal cluster within a gemstone. These can cause problems if they are in the wrong place, and will often decide the value of a stone. However, in some types of gems like Salt and Pepper Diamonds, inclusions can be desirable and add the beauty of the stone.


Heat Treating: Applying heat to a stone, bringing it to near-melting point to improve the colour or clarity.


MOHS Scale: This tells us the hardness (or strength) of a gemstone. Diamonds are the hardest!


What is a Tourmaline?

Tourmaline is a funky little gem and is part of the borosilicate family, it forms in many different colours, and the one you get all depends on the levels of some elements such as iron, magnesium and other metals. Depending on the levels of each of these elements, tourmalines show up in colours such as reds, pinks, yellows, browns, black, greens and even watermelon colouring. This is where green and pink form an ombre colour to create a watermelon colour effect. 

Tourmaline Meaning

It is thought to offer protection against negative energy and enhance your physical and mental well-being. Tourmaline is also associated with qualities such as strength, courage, and vitality, making it a popular choice in both jewellery and spiritual practices.

Types of Tourmalines

1. Watermelon tourmaline

A watermelon tourmaline is a special type of tourmaline that looks like a slice of watermelon! It has an ombre effect of fading from a lavish red or pink into a vibrant green. People love watermelon tourmalines because they're not just beautiful, but because of their unique charm and rarity.


2. Paraiba tourmaline

Paraiba tourmalines are named after the place where it was first discovered, which is in Brazil. This type of tourmaline has an almost neon aqua glow, making it an extremely coveted gemstone choice. Its also extremely rare and is considered one of the most prized gemstone in the world, it therefore commands very high prices on the market.


3. Optix tourmaline

The optix tourmaline is one of our favourites here at Jessica Flinn. Its new on the gemstone scene but already making waves and we just love the way it catches the light and creates a strobe effect within the gemstone. The optix tourmaline isn't naturally occurring, these gemstones are cut in a specific way so they catch the light in this unique, mesmerising way.

Tourmaline Value

Tourmalines come in many different colours and sizes, so their prices can vary a lot. Different types of tourmaline, such as the watermelon tourmaline and the Paraiba tourmaline, also command higher prices due to their rarity and demand. But in general, tourmalines are more affordable than gemstones such as sapphires or diamonds, so they make a great choice if you are looking for a stunning gemstone without the big price tag. Tourmalines affordability has helped their rise in popularity over the last few years, making them a standout choice for engagement rings and other jewellery items.

Where Does Tourmaline Come From?

Tourmaline is found in different regions globally, with significant mining operations in Brazil and Africa. Afghanistan and nearby areas also contribute to the global tourmaline supply, while the U.S. has scattered mines as well. African countries like Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia and Nigeria are also recognised for their tourmaline mining.

"Tourmalines are a firm favourite here at jessica Flinn, and it's no wonder why! They're a great choice if you're looking for something a little bit different"

OLIVIA, SALES TEAM LEADER

Tourmaline Hardness

Tourmaline's hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale means it is durable enough to withstand normal wear and tear. However, it's important to remember that while tourmaline is relatively durable, it can still be chipped or damaged if subjected to rough handling or impact, so it's best to treat your tourmaline jewellery with care.


The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a scale used to measure the scratch resistance of various minerals. It assigns a relative hardness value to minerals based on their ability to scratch or be scratched by other minerals. With 10 being the hardest (diamond).

Tourmaline Rarity

While not as rare as some gemstones like diamonds or rubies, certain colours and varieties of tourmaline are still considered to be very rare and have higher market prices. For example, the Paraiba tourmaline, which is prized for its neon aqua colour and extreme rarity, commands a much higher price than more common tourmaline varieties. 


As with any gemstone, the price is also reflected in aspects such as the carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. These aspects are referred to as the 4Cs and are used to determine the overall quality of a gemstone and subsequently its price, while they are usually applied to diamonds, they can be used to determine the quality of any type of gemstone. Learn more about the 4Cs in our guide.

Tourmaline Colours

Tourmaline's allure lies in its captivating array of colours, spanning from delicate pastel blues and greens to intense, vibrant pinks and teals. The tourmaline is a versatile gemstone that comes in a wide range of colours, so whatever you are looking for from a gemstone, you can probably find it in a tourmaline!

Tourmaline Ring Inspiration

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Lab Grown Tourmalines

Lab grown gemstones are becoming more and more popular! With their lower price point and greater availability, as well as their environmental sustainability compared to mined tourmalines, they're a great choice.


Lab-grown tourmalines are synthetic gemstones created in controlled laboratory settings, mimicking the chemical composition and crystal structure of natural tourmalines, so they're chemically exactly the same as their mined counterparts. Despite being synthetic, they maintain the same beauty and durability as natural ones, making them a popular choice for those seeking ethical and affordable gemstone options.


Caring for Your Tourmaline

Keeping your tourmaline ring sparkling is easy-peasy! You can purchase one of our jewellery cleaning kits, it’ll include everything you need to keep your tourmaline ring nice and sparkly. Or, if you’d rather leave it to one of our professionals, you can book in for a repair & refresh, where one of our experts will be able to give your tourmaline engagement ring the TLC it deserves.


Do store your tourmaline jewellery by itself. If your tourmaline rings knock against each other the stones may become scratched. Keep them in separate ring boxes, pouches, or in a structured box to keep them upright! 


Don’t wear your tourmaline jewellery during sports. This should be a no-go with any jewellery, as it can be dangerous for both you and your gemstone. You should avoid any kind of overly physical activity to avoid potential knocks, claws catching or breaking, dents and stone losses! This includes swimming as chlorine and salt water can be especially harsh for your tourmaline!


Don’t wear your stone while cleaning. Especially if your tourmaline is set in a ring, you need to be wary of cleaning products and cosmetics. Coming into contact with bleach is one of the worst things for your stone!



Tourmaline FAQs

Can tourmalines be worn every day?

Tourmalines are fairly tough gems and can definitely be worn every day, but it depends on the colour of the tourmaline and how it's set in jewellery. 


Some colours, such as black or green, are more resilient so are good for everyday wear because they don't scratch easily. Others, like pink or green tourmalines, need a bit more care. Just make sure they're set in jewellery really well and get cleaned and refreshed regularly to keep them super shiny and pretty! If you would like to refresh your tourmaline jewellery we offer a refresh service, where you can send your piece to us and we will give it the TLC it deserves!

Is tourmaline suitable for an engagement ring?

Tourmalines make an excellent choice for a unique and vibrant engagement ring. These gemstones not only offer stunning beauty but also boast durability, perfect for everyday wear. Elevate your engagement ring with the enchanting allure of tourmalines, known for their brilliant colours and distinctive appeal. Explore the magic of tourmalines and make your engagement ring a captivating symbol of your love story.

Where can I buy a tourmaline ring?

If you’re looking for a tourmaline ring then you’re in the right place. At Jessica Flinn, our speciality lies in working with alternative and rare gemstones, so we can think of anyone more qualified to handle your tourmaline dreams! 

Why are tourmalines so special?

Tourmalines stand out for their exceptional beauty and diversity, coming in a wide array of colours that resemble a natural rainbow. From vibrant pinks to lush greens and deep blues, these gemstones captivate with their rich hues. Found in various locations globally, including Brazil, Africa, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Tourmalines are renowned for their unique formation process involving hot water and vapours deep within the Earth. The distinct types, such as Paraiba tourmalines, are particularly prized for their neon-like glow. Discover the allure of these exquisite gemstones, each a vibrant piece of the Earth's natural magic.

How is tourmaline formed?

Originating deep within the Earth, it begins with the creation of magma, and as the magma rises towards the surface, it interacts with surrounding minerals, leading to the crystallisation of tourmaline in rock cavities or fractures. During this process, conditions such as the temperature and pressure influence the gemstones composition and colour. 

Are tourmalines expensive?

Tourmalines vary in price depending on factors like colour, clarity, and rarity, with some varieties fetching high prices, especially rare colours like Paraiba tourmaline. However, more common colours of tourmaline can be relatively affordable, providing options for a range of budgets.

Is watermelon tourmaline natural?

Yes, watermelon tourmaline is a natural variety of tourmaline characterised by its distinctive pink centre surrounded by a green outer layer, resembling the appearance of a watermelon.