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Archive for the ‘Gems’ Category

This stone was introduced to Europe in the early eighteeth century by the Dutch, who discovered it in Ceylon.  The Singhalese referred to it as toramalli, a word also used to decribe zicons.  The Dutch renamed it aschentrekker, meaning "ash puller" due to an unusual property with which pipe-smoking Dutch sailors were once familiar: when heated, tourmaline becomes electrically charged and thus
attracts ash and dust.  Dutch sailer used it to empty the ash from the bowl of their meerschaum pipes.
No other gem comes in such a vast array of colors.  Single-color tormailnes are rare.  Most display a multitude of color nuances blendinng one into the other, or concentric colored layers.  One such specimen is the famous watermelon tourmaline, which has a pink heart surrounded by green.  The most coveted tourmaline – rubellite is red, hence its name.  King Gusta of Sweden presented Empress Catherine II of Russia with a rubellite weighing 250 carats, still conserved in the Diamond Fund in Moscow.  The rarest, indicolite, a deep blue-green.

The most common color for tourmaline is green.  The muse’s stone, tourmaline is said to give wings to the artist’s imagination.

Borosilicate of aluminum. 
Hardness: 7 to 7.5
Birthstone of the month of October
Symbol of creativity and inspiration
Afghanistan, Brazil, U.S., Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka

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