Tourmaline rings come in a rainbow of colors and are available in a wide price range that will suit any type of budget - and couples interested in colorful and unique gemstone engagement rings may find the perfect solution through durable and long lasting tourmaline engagement rings.
Below, you will find all the different types of tourmaline,
including the precious paraiba tourmaline, their average cost
per carat, enhancements, special care, and shopping tips which will help
you to find a quality tourmaline ring.
And if you have any questions about tourmaline gemstones or tourmaline rings, just use the handy comment section at the end of the page to send in your questions or to share ring reviews and pics!
What is tourmaline? In addition to being a striking, colorful and dazzling gemstone, tourmaline is a type of crystal silicate. While there are many different types of tourmaline, all tourmaline gemstones have similar physical properties - the many colors of tourmaline occur when slight differences form in the make-up of silicate crystals in the gemstone.
Durability = Very Good
Hardness = 7.0 - 7.5
Refractive Index = 1.624 - 1.644
Specific Gravity = 3.06
Meaning of the Tourmaline
The tourmaline is primarily believed to be a gemstone with healing and balancing energies which provides these benefits through the cleansing properties and positive energies of the gemstone.
The tourmaline is the modern birthstone for the month of October.
Special Care of Tourmaline
As a durable gemstone with a high hardness rating, tourmaline generally requires no special
care. The only exceptions to this rule are in cases where the tourmaline has been enhanced or treated as
in some types of bicolor or tricolor tourmaline stones (see tourmaline colors below).
Price Guide for all Tourmalines
Tourmalines are priced based on their color, clarity, cut, and carat.
What Makes a Quality Tourmaline?
No matter what color of tourmaline you are interested, there are a few points that will help you to find a quality gemstone.
The first thing you want to look at is color. While tourmaline is available in all shades, there are some undesirable secondary colors which can affect the quality of the stone. Red, greens, and blues are all affected in value if they have undertones of brown, gray, or yellow.
Unless you are purchasing a bi-color or tri-color tourmaline, try to find a tourmaline that has a consistent color with minimal undertones of secondary colors. You also want your tourmaline to hold its color to a good degree even if the gemstone is exposed to different types of lights.
Quality tourmalines are also either minimally enhanced (such as receiving only heat treatments) or not enhanced at all. Always ask the retailer what the enhancement status on the gemstone is.
Consider the price of a tourmaline when you are looking for a quality gemstone. If a price looks too good to be true, it probably is. With tourmalines, expect to pay much more per carat for higher quality stones with good clarity, cut, and color.
Types and Colors of Tourmaline
Red, Pink, and Purple Tourmalines and Rubellite
Red, pink, and purple tourmalines come in a variety of shades from a shocking bright pink known as tourmaline watermelon, to pink browns, to bright reds, blood reds, and soft to intense purples. While color preference is a matter of taste, the value and cost of these tourmalines is affected greatly by color and enhancements or treatments.
These types of tourmalines are from Afghanistan, Brazil, and California (U.S.).
Occasionally, red, pink, and purple tourmalines are injected with colorless oils or resins to improve the gemstone's clarity and overall appearance. Labeled E or O, these types of enhancements have a good to fair stability rating, although the treatments require special care. E or O treated tourmalines should not be exposed to steam cleaners, ultrasonic cleaners, chemicals, and sudden temperature changes. These types of treatments moderately affect the stone's overall value.
Sometimes, red, pink, and purple tourmalines are injected with colored dyes to improve the overall appearance and clarity of the gemstone. Labeled with a D, this type of enhancement has a poor stability rating and the gemstone will require special care. D treated tourmalines should not be exposed to steam cleaners, ultrasonic cleaners, chemicals, and sudden temperature changes. Dyed oils have a large impact on the overall value of the stone, and it is recommended that you avoid purchasing tourmaline rings made with these types of treated stones.
Blue Tourmaline - Indigolite and Paraiba Tourmaline:
Blue tourmaline is almost any type of blue you can imagine. Most blue tourmalines are also called indigolite tourmaline by gemologists, but the bright and neon like blue tourmalines which come in almost shocking shades of blues, blue-green, and blue-purples are named Paraiba tourmaline after the region in Brazil in which they were first discovered.
Most quality blue tourmalines come from Brazil and Nigeria, but they have also be discovered in Afghanistan, Namibia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Blue tourmalines are commonly heated to improve color. Labeled with an E or H, this type of treatment has an
excellent stability rating, requires no special care, and minimally affects the gemstone's value.
Blue tourmalines are occasionally enhanced with colorless oil or colorless resins to improve the gemstone's appearance and clarity. This type of treatment has a good to fair stability rating, but stones which receive these treatments require special care. Labeled with an E or O, these enhanced tourmalines should not be exposed to sudden temperature changes, steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, and harsh chemicals. This type of enhancement moderately affects the stone's overall value.
Green Tourmalines: Chrome Tourmaline
Green tourmalines are available in practically every shade of green, from a green so light it is barely perceptible to a green so dark the stone almost looks black. Most green tourmalines are just called 'green tourmaline' except for the darker varieties termed 'bottle green tourmaline' and the rare and precious emerald like 'chrome tourmaline.'
Green tourmalines are most often from Brazil and Tanzania although they are also found in Afghanistan, Namibia, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Pakistan.
Chrome tourmalines are currently not enhanced in any way and chrome tourmaline rings should always contain unenhanced gemstones.
Green tourmalines are commonly heat treated to enhance their color. This treatment has an excellent stability rating and the gemstone requires no special care after heat treatment. Labeled with an E or H, this type of enhancement only minimally affects the price of the gemstone.
Green tourmalines are occasionally enhanced with colorless oil or colorless resins to improve the gemstone's appearance and clarity. This type of treatment has a good to fair stability rating, but stones which receive these treatments require special care. Labeled with an E or O, these enhanced tourmalines should not be exposed to sudden temperature changes, steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, and harsh chemicals. This type of enhancement moderately affects the stone's overall value.
Darker green tourmalines (such as the bottle green tourmalines) with consistent color are more highly valued than lighter green varieties. Green tourmalines with underlying tones of yellow or brown are considered to be low value gemstones. Dark green tourmalines are pretty rare in larger sizes, so once the gemstones reach more than one carat the price per carat can begin to increase dramatically in the $1,000 - $2,000 dollar per carat range.
Brown, Yellow, and Orange Tourmalines
These shades of tourmalines are pretty common and priced much lower than the other color tourmaline varieties. However, some of the orange and yellow tourmalines can be quite striking, and your choice of tourmaline rings should always be based on personal preference.
Brown, Yellow, and Orange Tourmalines are found in a number of countries including: Afghanistan, Brazil, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Pakistan, and parts of the U.S.
Orange and yellow tourmalines are often heated to improve their color. This type of treatment has an excellent stability rating and the gemstone requires no special care after treatment. Labeled with an E or H, this type of treatment minimally affects the value of the stone.
In rare cases, yellow, orange, and brown tourmalines are irradiated to improve their color. This type of treatment has a good stability rating, and the stones do not require special treatment after this enhancement process. Labeled with an E or R, irradiation modestly affects the value of the stone.
Multi-colored tourmalines are usually either two colors, or three colors, although some tourmalines may even resemble a shimmering rainbow depending on the type of light they are exposed to.
Shopping Tips for Tourmaline Rings
With so many colors to choose from, and varieties of tourmaline available, take the time to look at a number of tourmalines before you settle on your final decision.
Always shop from a reputable seller to ensure that you are buying a quality stone, and never purchase tourmaline engagement rings without a return policy.
While many tourmalines are commonly heat treated, other types of treatments affect the gemstone's durability. Ask the seller about any enhancements the gemstone has received. Stay away from tourmalines which have received any type of dye (labeled with a D) enhancements.
Once you have received your ring, have an independent jeweler evaluate the gemstone to make sure that you have paid the right price for a quality stone. If the stone does not pass an independent evaluation, return it with your policy.
Keep in mind the points which make a quality tourmaline: high degree of clarity, consistent color, no undertones of yellow, brown, or grays, and a custom cut which maximizes color, brilliance, and fire of the stone.
Questions or Comments?
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