Tourmaline

Big Photo

Paraíba Tourmaline
Brazil
1.77 carats
© Palagems

Even though tourmaline has been known since antiquity in the Mediterranean region, the Dutch imported it only in 1703 from Sri Lanka to Western and Central Europe. They gave the new gems a Sinhalese name, Turamali, which is thought to mean "stone with mixed colours".

Tourmaline varies in transparency and colour to a considerable extent. Crystals of tourmaline may be of uniform colour throughout or differently coloured in different portions. The dichroism is a very prominent feature; it is apparent in quite pale-coloured stones, but is more marked in the darker varieties.

A very characteristic feature of tourmaline is the readiness with which it becomes electrified. By heating and subsequent cooling, as well as by applying pressure, e.i. by rubbing, a tourmaline crystal will become electrically charged. It will then attract dust particles as well as small pieces of paper (pyro- and piezo-electricity).

Tourmaline Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tourmaline Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Tourmaline gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.15 cts
Heaviest:475.75 cts
Average:9.19 cts
Total photos:281
Do you have a larger Tourmaline? Why not upload a photo?
0.15ct to 47.71ct47.71ct to 95.27ct95.27ct to 142.83ct142.83ct to 190.39ct190.39ct to 237.95ct237.95ct to 285.51ct285.51ct to 333.07ct333.07ct to 380.63ct380.63ct to 428.19ct428.19ct to 475.75ct
General Information
Varieties/Types:
Achroite - A colourless variety of Tourmaline
Chrome-Tourmaline - An emerald-green variety of tourmaline.
Dravite - A sodium magnesium aluminium tourmaline species.
Elbaite - A sodium lithium aluminium tourmaline species.
Cuprian Elbaite - A copper-bearing Elbaite.
Indicolite - A blue gemmy variety of tourmaline (usually elbaite).
Liddicoatite - A calcium lithium tourmaline species.
Rubellite - A pink to red gem variety of tourmaline.
Schorl - A sodium iron aluminium tourmaline species.
Uvite - A calcium magnesium aluminium tourmaline species.
Verdelite - A green gem variety of tourmaline
Watermelon Tourmaline - A variety of Tourmaline with colour zoning showing a pink core and green edges.
Chemical Formula
Na(Li
 
1.5
Al
 
1.5
)Al
 
6
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)(BO
 
3
)
 
3
(OH)
 
3
(OH)
Gemdat.org, Management Team (2012) Formula for elbaite, one of several tourmaline group minerals.More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Tourmaline Treatments
By heating to 842 - 1202 degrees F (450 - 650 degrees C), color changes can be produced in some tourmalines. Some green tourmaline becomes emerald green; other are lightened. The color of tourmalines which have been changed with gamma-irradiation may fade. - Gemstones of the world, Walter Schumann, 200, p 112
Synthetic Tourmaline
Synthetic tourmalines are used only for research purposes. The stones, offered as synthetic tourmaline, are rarely tourmaline-colored synthetic spinels. - Gemstones of the world, Walter Schumann, 2001, p 112
Physical Properties of Tourmaline
Mohs Hardness7 to 7.5
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Specific Gravity2.85 to 3.35
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
TenacityBrittle
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Cleavage QualityPoor
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006) Very poorMore from other references
FractureSub-Conchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Tourmaline
Refractive Index1.614 to 1.666
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Optical CharacterUniaxial/-
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Birefringence0.014 to 0.040
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
PleochroismPink tourmaline - distinct: colorless-pink - pinkish-red; Orange/brown tourmaline - strong: yellowish-brown - dark(greenish)-brown; Yellow tourmaline - distinct: pale yellow - dark yellow; Violet/purple tourmaline - strong: light purple - purple; Blue - strong: light blue - dark blue; Green - strong: yellow-green - dark green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Dispersion0.017
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
ChatoyancyTourmaline cat's eyes exist in various colors, but only in the green and pink varieties. Chatoyancy is usually strong, caused by thin tube-like inclusions. Some tourmalines show a slight change of color in artificial light. They have a vitreous sheen ob crystal surfaces, a greasy sheen on fractured surfaces.
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
More from other references
Colour
Colour (General)Multi-colored crystals are common
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
More from other references
LustreVitreous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Mostly inert
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Crystallography of Tourmaline
Crystal SystemTrigonal
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
HabitPrismatic to acicular crystals
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
More from other references
Inclusions in Tourmaline
Thread of fiber-like capillaries often plaited in net-like pattern. Angular thin film mirror-like inclusions. Tube-like 2 phase inclusions running parallel to crystal's length: may create chatoyancy - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 5
Flat, film-like liquid inclusions, parallel oriented hollow tubes, needle-like mineral inclusions - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 14
Further Information
Mineral information:Tourmaline information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Afghanistan
 
  • Badakhshan Province (Badakshan Province; Badahsan Province)
    • Jurm District
      • Koksha Valley (Kokscha Valley; Kokcha Valley)
Glas (2002)
  • Kabol Province (Kabul Province)
    • Surobi District (Sorobi District)
Garnier, V., Giuliani, G., Ohnenstetter, D., Fallick, A.E., Dubessy, J., Banks, D., Vinh, H.Q., Lhomme, T., Maluski, H., Pêcher, A., Bakhsh, K.A., Long, P.V., Trinh, P.T., and Schwarz, D. (2008): Ore Geology Reviews 34, 169-191.
[var: Achroite] Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
    • Chapa Dara District
[var: Indicolite] Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
  • Nuristan Province (Nurestan Province; Nooristan Province; Nuristan)
    • Bargi Matal District
      • Pachigram (Pachighram) pegmatite field
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
    • Du Ab District
      • Nilaw-Kolum pegmatite field
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
Glas (2002)
Glas (2002)
    • Kamdesh District
[var: Indicolite] Glas (2002)
    • Nuristan District
Glas (2002)
    • Wama District (Vama District)
Glas (2002)
[var: Indicolite] Glas (2002)
Bowersox and Chamberlin (1995)
Brazil
 
  • Bahia
    • Brumado (Bom Jesus dos Meiras)
      • Serra das Éguas
Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
  • Minas Gerais
    • Doce Valley
Menezes (2009)
        • Ferruginha
Steger (1999)
[var: Rubellite] Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
[var: Rubellite] Steger (1999)
      • Divino das Laranjeiras
        • Linópolis
Steger (1999)
      • Galiléia
[var: Elbaite] Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
      • Itambacuri
[var: Indicolite] Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
[var: Verdelite] Menezes (2009)
Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
[var: Rubellite] Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
[var: Indicolite] Menezes (2009)
    • Jequitinhonha Valley
      • Coronel Murta
        • Barra do Salinas
[var: Indicolite] Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
      • Itinga
        • Monte Belo
[var: Indicolite] Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
[var: Rubellite] Bastos (2002)
      • Virgem da Lapa
Cassedanne and Roditi (1996)
  • Paraíba
    • Borborema mineral province
      • Junco do Seridó
Kievlenko E.Ya., Geology of gems, 2003, p. 113
      • Salgadinho
        • São José da Batalha
[Cuprian Elbaite var: Paraíba Tourmaline] Wilson, W. E. (2002): Cuprian elbaite from the Batalha Mine, Paraíba, Brazil. Mineralogical Record, 33: 127-137
  • Rio Grande do Norte
    • Borborema mineral province
      • Parelhas
Johnson et al. (2000)
Johnson et al. (2000)
China
 
  • Xinjiang Autonomous Region
    • Yili Hasake Autonomous Prefecture (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture)
      • Aletai Prefecture (Altay Prefecture)
        • Fuyun Co. (Koktokay Co.)
Tang et al. (2004)
  • Yunnan Province
    • Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture
Wu (2004)
India
 
  • Rajasthan (Rajputana)
    • Ajmer Division
[var: Schorl]
Kenya
 
  • Coast Province
    • Kwale District
Simonet (2000, 2006)
    • Taita Taveta District
Collection of NHM, Vienna
Simonet (2000)
Madagascar
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
  • Antananarivo Province
    • Vakinankaratra Region
      • Betafo District
        • Ambohimanambola Commune
Laurs (2000)
        • Andrembesoa Commune
          • FKT Antsentsindrano
[var: Rubellite] Lacroix, A. (1912): Sur quelques minéraux des pegmatites du Vakinankaratra (Madagascar). Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie, Paris 35 , 76-84
        • Mahaiza Commune
[var: Schorl] E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 112
        • Manapa pegmatite Field
Dirlam at al. (2002)
Danet (2007)
      • Sahatany Pegmatite Field (Mt Ibity area)
        • Sahatany Valley
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 111
Dirlam at al. (2002)
E.Ya. Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
  • Fianarantsoa Province
    • Amoron'i Mania Region
Pezzotta (1999)
    • Atsimo-Atsinanana Region
Pezzotta (2006)
    • Camp Robin area
      • Matsiatra Region
        • Ambohimahasoa District
Pezzotta (2006)
    • Horombe Region
      • Ranohira District
        • Ilakaka Commune
Madagascar - extraLapis English No.1, p. 92
    • Matsiatra Region
      • Ikalamavony Pegmatite Field
        • Ikalamavony District
Danet (2006)
      • Ivohibato Alakamisy-Itenina District
Milisenda et al. (2001)
  • Toamasina Province (Tamatave)
    • Alaotra-Mangoro Region
      • Ambatondrazaka District
Pezzotta (2006)
[var: Schorl] Madagascar, extraLapis English No.1, 2001, p. 46
[var: Schorl] Madagascar, extraLapis English No.1, 2001, p. 46
  • Tuléar Province (Toliara)
    • Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region)
      • Amboasary District
        • Tranomaro Commune
Madagascar - extraLapis English No.1, 2001, p. 64
Mozambique
 
  • Cabo Delgado Province
mindat.org
  • Zambezia Province
    • Alto Ligonha District
[var: Indicolite] Henn and Bank (1997)
[var: Indicolite] Henn and Bank (1997)
[var: Indicolite] Schafer and Arlt (2000)
Myanmar
 
  • Mandalay Division
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
      • Mogok Township
        • Bernardmyo
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Chaung-gyi
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kathé (Kathe)
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kin (Guard Post)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyatpyin Central
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyatpyin North
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyauk-Pyat-That
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Dravite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Elbaite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Mogok Valley
          • Dattaw Hill
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Dravite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Elbaite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • On-dan
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Pein-Pyit (Painpyit; Pyan Pyit)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
[var: Dravite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
    • Yamethin District
[var: Elbaite] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
  • Sagaing Division
    • Katha District
      • Wuntho Township
[var: Schorl] Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
  • Shan State
    • Kyaukme District
[var: Rubellite] Kyi et al. (2005)
Glas (2002)
Namibia
 
  • Erongo Region
    • Karibib District
[var: Indicolite] Schneider and Seeger (1992)
      • Otjua Farm 37
[var: Indicolite] Mossman (2002)
[var: Indicolite] Schneider and Seeger (1992)
Beard (1999)
  • Kunene Region
    • Damaraland District
      • Uis (Groot Uis)
Mossman (2002)
Nepal
 
  • Bheri Zone
Bassett (1987)
  • Gandaki Zone
Koivula et al. (1994)
  • Kosi Zone (Koshi Zone)
    • Sankhuwasabha District (Sankhuwa Sahba; Shankuwa-Sava)
Bassett (1987)
Nigeria
 
  • Oyo State
Henn (2001)
Pakistan
 
  • Azad Kashmir
    • Muzaffarabad district
Laurs et al. (1998)
  • Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas)
    • Astor District (Astore District)
      • Astor valley (Astore valley)
E.Ya.Kievlenko, Geology of gems, 2003, p. 110
    • Baltistan
      • Skardu District
        • Braldu Valley
Glas (2002)
        • Haramosh Mts.
Glas (2002)
[var: Indicolite] Laurs et al. (1998)
    • Gilgit District
Laurs et al. (1998)
Russia
 
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye)
      • Chitinskaya Oblast'
        • Krasnyi Chikoy
          • Malkhan pegmatite field (Malchan; "Malechansk")
[var: Rubellite] Godovikov and Bulgak (1993)
[var: Rubellite] Godovikov and Bulgak (1993)
[var: Rubellite] Godovikov and Bulgak (1993)
  • Urals Region
    • Middle Urals
      • Sverdlovskaya Oblast'
        • Rezh District
          • Lipovka pegmatite field
Smith and Smith (1995)
Sri Lanka
 
  • Central Province
Milisenda and Henn (1999)
  • Sabaragamuwa Province
    • Ratnapura District
Milisenda and Henn (1999)
[var: Achroite]
Tajikistan
 
  • Viloyati Mukhtori Gorno-Badakhshan (Viloyati Badakhshoni Kuni)
    • Pamir Mts
      • Khorog Region
        • Shakhdara Range
Skrigitil (1996)
      • Rangkul' Highlands
Skrigitil (1996)
Tanzania
 
  • Arusha Region
    • Dumbawanga District
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/tanzania-mines.htm
  • Manyara Region
    • Simanjiro District
      • Lelatema Mts
Dirlam at al. (1992)
  • Ruvuma Region
    • Tunduru District
gemexplorer.org
USA
 
  • California
    • San Diego Co.
      • Mesa Grande District
        • Gem Hill
[var: Elbaite] Min.Rec.:20(5):399. / Foord, E.E. (1977): Famous mineral localities. The Himalaya Dike System. Mineralogical Record 8, 461-475
      • Pala District
        • Pala
          • Chief Mountain
            • Pala Chief Mine (Chief mine; MS 6452; Salmons mine)
Morgan and London (1999)
          • Tourmaline Queen Mountain (Pala Mtn; Queen Mtn)
[var: Indicolite] Fisher et al. (1999)
[var: Elbaite] Fisher, J. 2002. Gem and rare-element pegmatites of southern California. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 33: pages 378-381.
      • Ramona District
        • Ramona
Morgan and London (1999)
      • Warner Springs District
        • Warner Springs
[var: Achroite] Laurs (2001, 2002, 2004)
  • Maine
    • Oxford Co.
      • Newry
[var: Achroite] Freeman (2005)
      • Paris
[var: Achroite] Freeman (2005)
  • North Carolina
    • Cleveland Co.
      • Shelby
        • (Tarper Mine)
          • Old Plantation Mine
Vietnam
 
  • Yenbai Province (Yen Bai Province)
    • Luc Yen
Pham et al. (2004)
Pham et al. (2004)
Pham et al. (2004)
Zambia
 
  • Central Province
    • Mkushi District
      • Mkushi
        • Mkushi Pegmatite Region
Milisenda et al. (2000)
Zimbabwe
 
  • Mashonaland West
    • Karoi District (Urungwe; Hurungwe District)
      • Mwami (Miami)
Glas (2002)
Copyright © Jolyon & Katya Ralph 1993-2016. Site Map. Locality, gem & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. For more information please contact the . Gemdat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free gemmological information to all.