Tourmaline is rich in a wide range of colors, making it suitable for different personalities and skin tones. Simultaneously there are many questions regarding this gemstone. Here is the ultimate guide of most frequently asked questions about it:
Q1: What color is the tourmaline?
A: Various species appear in different colors from colorless to black. Here are a few common and important varieties:
- Rubellite–pink, purplish-red, orange-red, similar in color to a ruby
- Indicolite–violetish blue, blue or greenish blue
- Chrome–intense green, vanadium makes it so beautifully green
- Canary–bright yellow tourmaline from Malawi
- Watermelon–a green skin and red core, often cut as slices
- Cat’s Eye–chatoyant tourmaline in a variety of colors
- Paraiba–striking neon color, the most prized of all tourmaline colors
In short, when judging its color quality, tourmaline with high saturation and no dark zones is the most valuable.
Q2: How is the clarity of this gem?
A: The colored tourmaline grows in a liquid-rich environment. Hence, the most common inclusions in tourmaline are fractures, liquid-filled healing fractures, and needle inclusions. These inclusions are more visible in tourmalines with light tones and low chroma, while those with bright colors and inclusions will be cut into cabochons to highlight their colors and dilute the inclusions.
Q3: What about the cut of it?
A: Due to its strong pleochroism, it is cut based on the depth of the color, rather than cutting them lengthwise. To deepen the tourmaline of lighter color, the cutters would orient it with the table facet perpendicular to the crystal length. And to make the dark tourmaline look brighter, the cutter would orient it with the table facet parallel to the crystal length.
Q4: Has this gemstone been treated to enhance its color?
A: Many treatments are used to improve its appearance and color, making it more attractive. For example, heating is common and stable in lightening blue and green stones, while irradiation is helpful in producing red, deep pink, yellow and orange stones. Another infrequent method is acid treatment, primarily used on cats’ eyes and bleached dark inclusions.
Q5: Does it cost much?
A: The value of tourmaline varies tremendously, depending on its species and quality. Most valuable are Paraiba tourmalines, and they are tens of thousands of dollars per carat. Second, are chrome, rubellites, indicates, and bi-colors, reaching as much as $1000/ct or more. By contrast, other species are lower for prices between $50-750/ct, mainly depending on their color saturation.
Q6: How to differ it from other imitations?
A: A common imitation of tourmalines is glass. Judging from the inclusions, there are often small round bubbles in the glass, which is not the case with tourmaline inclusions. We can also distinguish the glass and tourmaline by light observation. Another imitation is fluorite. From the perspective of hardness, the tourmaline is 7.5 on the Mohs Scale, while the fluorite is only about 4. We can distinguish them by scratching the glass.
Q7: How do I care for this kind jewelry?
A: Owe to its electric conductivity, it will attract more dust. So you may need to clean your jewelry frequently. Avoid cleaning them with ultrasonic or steam devices since they have numerous inclusions. Instead, use a soft brush and mild detergent to clean.
Q8: Where to buy tourmaline jewelry?
A: SHE·SAID·YES!!! Browse through our collection and search for tourmaline rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. You will also find special sections for engagement rings, and wedding rings.