Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tourmaline: The Stone with Mixed Colours

If I get any busier I'm going to have to clone myself! Nevertheless, I decided it was time to update the blog and try to get a few things on the website. Some time ago I bought quite a few tourmaline strands; some of them turned out to be very pretty. Pretty tourmaline can be difficult to find in bead form. How I wish I'd bought strands and strands of it when I was in India! But now I have to try to search and search like everyone else. I saw great tourmaline when I was in India; appropriate, since Sri Lanki gave tourmaline its name and (tur mali in Sinhalese) the Dutch East India Company (headquartered in Madras where I spent most of my time; Sri Lanka is right off the coast) brought tourmalines back to Europe. Nowadays, tourmaline comes from Brazil (deep blue-green paraiba tourmaline is prized), Namibia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Tourmaline is even found in the USA.

What I love about tourmalines is what they are known for - their many colours, even within a single crystal. One old legend has it that in coming up from the earth, the tourmaline somehow passed over an underground rainbow and absorbed its varied colours.
Many people are fond of pink tourmaline, and it has been accepted as an alternate birthstone for the month of October (usual birthstone is the opal). I like to use all the colours of tourmaline together in one piece of jewelry. This works for me because, first, it is rare to get enough perfect tourmaline in one colour for a piece of jewelry, and second, because I like the way the colours blend together. I particularly like clear olive, pink, and yellow tourmaline. And these three shades are wonderful together.The jewelry on this page is representative of the tourmalines I get: the top pair of tourmaline earrings illustrate the different colours of green and pink; the second pair, here in the last picture, show blends of pink although without the green that makes "watermelon" tourmaline - very popular recently. The tourmaline necklace above has colours of tourmalines ranging from black to watermelon to green to pink and all shades in between. Tourmaline jewelry is also very useful in the jewelry wardrobe since it can go with so many different clothes.

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