Tourmaline | October Birthstone

three different sized pencil shaped pieces of tourmaline exhibiting different colours

 

About the Mineral Tourmaline 


Tourmaline occurs in many colours and also in combinations of two or three different colours which can be at opposite ends of the mineral or together in the heart of it.  A gemstone with a pink centre and green border is known as watermelon tourmaline.

An electrical charge can be induced in some crystals and this effect has found many uses in pressure measuring equipment and other scientific applications.  It was used in the production of pressure sensitive gauges for submarine instrumentation and other war-time equipment.  The pressure gauges that measured the power of the first atomic bomb blasts were made with slices of tourmaline.

When used for the purpose of crystal healing tourmaline is said to increase self-confidence, amplify psychic energy and may be used to aid concentration and communication.  It can neutralize negative energy, dispel fear and grief and aid relaxation of both mind and body.

Tourmaline can be found in Africa, the Ural Mountains of Russia and a few other locations in Europe but particularly exciting finds have been from North and South America.  Some of the most beautiful specimens were discovered during the early part of the 19th century in the USA and in 1972 a mine in Maine established itself as one of the largest deposits ever found.  For a brief period it became a world source for superior quality red and green coloured tourmaline.  The first pink stone was found in the 1860's in San Diego.  Today the largest mines are in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil but it is also mined in Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Mozambique, Myanmar, Russia, Namibia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Graded 7 to 7½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means that tourmaline is quite hard which makes it relatively easy to work with.  Along with opal it's the birthstone for the month of October.

 

 

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