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Also known as the "Rainbow Gemstone," tourmaline comes in an array of colors such as reds and greens, as well as everything from yellow to blue. Tourmaline is especially fascinating because of its ability to show more than one color at a time. In fact, it is rare if tourmaline is found in only one color.
Deriving from the Senegalese expression "tura mali" or "stone of mixed colors", the name exemplifies the unique quality of tourmaline. Said to have a strong influence on friendship and love, the stone makes an excellent gift for the stability and longevity of newly formed relationships.
To have a better understanding of tourmaline's range of colors, a better understanding of gemology is needed. Tourmalines are made up of complex crystals with varying composition; any change in this composition can result in a completely different color to appear. Likewise, due to the complex crystal structure of tourmalines, looking at them through various angles and different forms of light (artificial versus sunlight) will result in a different intensity of the color. In fact, the deepest color will always appear at the axis, or center of the stone, an important factor for gemstone cutter to keep in mind. It is because of these various complex crystal formations that different colors of tourmalines exist.
Deep red tourmaline is dubbed "rubelite” if it shows the same intensity of color in various lights. If it shows different color intensity in artificial light, it is then called pink tourmaline. Similar nicknames for tourmaline exist for the various color intensities it can show. Found everywhere in the world, the most important occurrences are in Sri Lanka, Brazil, South and Southwest Africa.
As with all gems, protect tourmaline from scratches and sharp blows. Also avoid large temperature changes such as leaving it be a heater vent or in a hot car. Do not clean tourmaline in a home ultrasonic cleaner.