Tourmaline

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Tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors. The name comes from the Sinhalese word "Thuramali" (තුරමලි) or "Thoramalli" (තෝරමල්ලි), which applied to different gemstones found in Sri Lanka.

Contents

History

Brightly colored Sri Lankan gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. At the time it was not realised that schorl and tourmaline were the same mineral.

Tourmaline species and varieties

  • Dravite species: from the Drave district of Carinthia
    • Dark yellow to brownish black—dravite
  • Schorl species:
    • Bluish or brownish black to Black—schorl
  • Elbaite species: named after the island of Elba, Italy
    • Rose or pink—rubellite variety (from ruby)
    • Dark black—schorl (from indigo)
    • Light blue to bluish green—Brazilian indicolite variety
    • Green—verdelite or Brazilian emerald variety
    • Colorless—achroite variety (from the Greek "άχρωμος" meaning "colorless")

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