Pink tourmaline can be found throughout the world. Rich deposits have been mined in the United States, Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan, and Namibia. But the finest quality stones are to be found in the Muzo mines of Brazil and in Namibia. Namibian pink tourmaline has a very intense color. Truly fine quality tourmaline gems are rare and expensive.
Pink tourmalines can range in color from soft, pale pink shades, deep hues that are vivid reddish pink, to hot pink. In the past, deeply colored pink tourmalines were frequently mistaken for rubies, even fooling even kings and queens! The confusion between the gemstones continued for many centuries, until scientists recognized tourmaline as a distinct mineral species in the 1800’s.
The name “Tourmaline” originated from the ancient Sinhalese, a language still spoken by Sri Lankans. It is believed to be derived from either the word “tourmali,” meaning a precious mixed-color stone or “turamali,” meaning something small taken from the earth.
Pink tourmaline symbolizes friendship, compassion, self-love, transformation, Love, and humanitarianism. It is the modern birthstone for October and the gemstone for the 8th wedding anniversary. It is sometimes considered an alternate gemstone for the 5th anniversary.
History & Fun Facts
- In 1777, Swedish King Gustavus III gave Catherine the Great a stunning pendant set with the magnificent gem known as “Caesar’s Ruby.” His intention was to curry political favor with his exceptional gift. This stunning 250-carat gem became part of the famous Romanov jewels. Later, it was discovered that the gem was not a ruby! It was a deeply pink colored tourmaline.
- Chinese Empress Tz’u Hsi became captivated by this gem in the mid to late 1800’s, and soon set up a direct trade line with California Tourmaline mines. Some of the most beautiful specimens at the time were being pulled out of San Diego area mines like the Pala Chief, Tourmaline King & Queen, Himalaya, and Stewart. This very important trade line lasted up until 1912 when the Chinese government fell.
- Mohs scale hardness 7–7.5
- Through the promotional efforts of Tiffany & Co. through its chief gemologist George F. Kunz, by the late 1800s pink tourmaline became known as an American gem.
- An Egyptian legend believes that as the crystals grew up from the earth, they encountered a rainbow and attained every color of the rainbow, giving the tourmaline gem stone a spectacular array of beauty.
- An electrical charge can also be induced in some tourmaline crystals simply by applying pressure to the crystal in the direction of the vertical crystal axis.
- This effect is known as piezoelectricity, and found many uses in pressure measuring equipment and other scientific applications: Tourmaline was used in the production of pressure sensitive gauges for submarine instrumentation as well as other war equipment
- The pressure gauges that measured the power of the first atomic bomb blasts were made with slices of this gem.
- Many gemstones in the Russian Crown jewels from the 17th Century once thought to be rubies are in fact tourmalines.
- During the late 1600’s or early 1700’s, Dutch traders discovered Tourmaline in Italy. The Dutch introduced the stone throughout Europe as they traveled. Having noticed one of its singular properties, they used warmed Tourmaline to draw out the ash in their Meerschaum pipes. The Dutch named the stone “Aschentrekker,” meaning ash puller.
- The ancients attributed Pink Tourmaline with remarkable powers. In India, Rubellite was associated with fire, the sun, and positive energy. It was believed to bring insight to those seeking goodness and reveal any blockages.
- Romans used Pink Tourmaline as an aid for stress reduction and troublesome sleep.
- Pink tourmaline is related to the Heart Chakra. It is used to open the heart for unconditional love, promoting compassion, tolerance, love and tenderness.
Check out which celebrities’ birthdays fall in October: Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, Simon Cowell, Bill Gates, Zac Efron, Kardi B. Drake.