|Pink Tourmaline Gems
You can find every possible shade of pink in tourmaline, including unusual bi-color and tri-color pieces. If you're searching for a hot pink gem, you'll most likely find it in tourmaline. But you'll also find soft pinks in every imaginable shade.
Some fine pink gems, such as kunzite and morganite, are typically found in delicate shades of pink. In tourmaline you can find saturated pinks that range from the pink-red rubellite to rose to carnation pink.
Tourmaline is also one of the few pink gems that can be found in large sizes. There are some outstanding pinks in sapphire, for example, but you were rarely find them in sizes over one or two carats, and they tend to be rather expensive. Pink tourmaline can be found in sizes over 5 carats at affordable prices.
Tourmaline is found in many places in the world. But it is one of the few gemstones for which the USA is famous. The first American discoveries were made in 1822 in the state of Maine. California became a large producer of tourmaline in the early 1900's. The Maine deposits tend to produce crystals in raspberry pink-red as well as minty greens. The California deposits are known for bright pinks, as well as interesting bicolors. During the early 1900's, Maine and California were the world's largest producers of gem tourmalines.
The Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi, the last Empress of China, loved pink tourmaline and bought large quantities for gemstones and carvings from the Himalaya Mine, in San Diego County, California.
Today most of our tourmaline supply comes from Africa, particularly Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Tourmaline is a silicate compounded with aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. It is actually a family of related species with slightly different chemical composition. Tourmaline combines good hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) with excellent durability, since it has indistinct cleavage. The best tourmaline displays excellent transparency and a vitreous luster. And because of its tremendous color variation and pleochroism, nearly every piece of tourmaline is quite unique.
- First Published: May-19-2009
- Last Updated: March-05-2011
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