Tourmaline – A rainbow of colours

Thunderbirds4Those of you who have been to our pearl jewellery store in London will know how much Coleman Douglas Pearls loves tourmaline! Tourmaline comes in so many different colours and shades it complements our pearls perfectly. October babes are very lucky indeed as not only do they have opal as a birthstone they also get tourmaline to pick from!

DSC_8207aeOne of the most interesting facts about tourmaline is that because it does have such a range of colours it is often mistaken for other stones. This is even reflected in its name, which comes from the Sinhalese “thoramalli” which means “mixed gems”.  Tourmaline can be coloured from black through all the colours of the rainbow to a highly prized Paraiba tourmaline – an intense bright blue shade originally found in Paraiba in Brazil. Not only does tourmaline come in individual colours it can also come bi-coloured often in shades of pink with green. These colour zoned tourmalines are affectionately known as “watermelon” tourmalines for their resemblance to the fruit.

However, tourmaline is not actually a single mineral, but instead a group of minerals related in their physical and chemical properties. The mineral Elbaite is the member of the Tourmaline group that is responsible for almost all the gem varieties.

tahitian + Tourmaline NE + petalsWe love that tourmaline can be paired with any colour pearl especially our multi coloured tahitian pearls. Tahitian pearls  grow in the Black lipped oyster which produces black pigment and are found in the surrounding area of the archipelago of French Polynesia, Panama and Mexico. Their colours are naturally dark and range from grey to black and peacock green to aubergine; however, they can sometimes be very light in colour from white to yellow and pink all of which have grey overtones.

We would love to talk to you more about tourmalines and pearls so pop into our pearl showroom soon!

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