If you’re born in October, your birthstone is tourmaline! Happy Birthday to you
Tourmaline has been known since antiquity in the Mediterranean region, but it was only in 1703 that they brought it from Sri Lanka to Western and Central Europe. The Dutch gave the new gems a Sinhalese (being from Sri Lanka) name, Turamali, which is thought to mean ‘stone with mixed colours’.
While tourmaline has the largest colour range of any gemstone, most people are probably familiar with pink and green tourmaline. Tourmaline is indeed in Madagascar, Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan and some East African countries.
Green tourmaline is very popular; the dark olive or bottle green colours are the most easily available, and therefore the most affordable. However, the most desired variety is called chrome tourmaline, being similar in colour to some emeralds.
But it’s really pink which is the most popular of all the tourmaline colours: the pinks can range from deeply saturated pure-pinks, through to some colours of brown or salmon. In some markets, any deep-pink tourmaline is called ‘rubellite’ (misleadingly) – for it to truly be rubellite, it needs to have a scarlet-red colour to the stone.
The most expensive is the paraiba tourmaline, an electric blue-green stone seen here, originally found in the Brazilian district of Paraiba. Its supply is very limited, so prices are sky-high!
And did you know that you can customise your jewellery with your birthstone? Check out this recent order, a heart pendant customised with pink tourmaline – a gorgeous, simple, unique gift.