Tourmaline Stone Buying Guide & Tourmaline Meaning

    If you've been living in the GB world for awhile, you know we love a good tourmaline. Pink, green, and every color in between, we're fully onboard the tourmaline train. Keep reading for everything you need to know about this super sumptous stone including:

    • What is tourmaline?
    • Tourmaline pros and cons

    • The meaning of tourmaline - every color

    • How to choose a tourmaline - cut, clarity, color, and carat

    • How to care for tourmaline

    • All your tourmaline questions answered

    What is tourmaline?

    October's second birthstone, tourmaline is an incredibly vibrant gemstone that comes in every color of the rainbow - including multi-colored stones that look like the juiciest gem-iest watermelon!

    Why we love tourmaline

    Infinite color options

    Color your fancy with pinks, purples, blues, greens, and every hue in between - tourmaline is a rainbow bright delight to fulfill any appetite.

    cushion cut pink tourmaline ring

    Cushion cut pink tourmaline ring with rose cut diamond halo

    Less expensive

    Often mistaken for sapphires, tourmaline offers the same array of colors at a much lower price than sapphires and other precious stones. So, if you're a color-loving queen on a budget, tourmaline may be for you. The one exception is the rare Paraíba tourmaline - these Brazilian stones can cost up to $10,000 per carat.


    Tourmaline is a pleochroic gemstone, meaning it shows two or more colors when viewed from different angles. Depending on how it's cut, tourmalines can show multiple colors from the top view, or give off color surprises from different angles. Pure, nature-made magic.

    spiritual meaning of tourmaine

    Meaning of tourmaline

    A gemstone well-known for crystal healing, tourmaline has a color for every purpose:

    Black tourmaline meaning: black tourmaline is used to ward off negative energy and call in confidence. It's known as the protector stone, shielding its wearer from draining or damaging energies around them. Black tourmaline is also known as Schorl.

    Pink tourmaline meaning: pink tourmaline is aligned with the heart chakra - these pink stones help connect us with love and compassion for ourselves and for others.

    Green tourmaline meaning: green tourmaline is a powerful healing stone that brings strength and healing directly into the heart and throughout the body. It lights up the wearer's life force energy, giving them more energy and strength both emotionally and physically. Green tourmalines are also known as Verdelite.

    Red tourmaline meaning: red tourmaline is the stone of passion and energy. The motivator, it helps inspire confidence and quell fearfulness. Red tourmalines are also known as Rubellite.

    Purple tourmaline meaning: purple tourmaline is a super high-vibe stone, connecting us with our highest self and helping us to manifest our intentions into existence.

    Blue tourmaline meaning: blue tourmaline is all about transparency and open, honest communication - it reminds us of the healing power of the truth. Blue tourmaline is also known as Indicolite.

    Yellow tourmaline meaning: Yellow tourmaline helps transform negative emotions into positive feelings by increasing mental clarity and releasing stress and anxiety. Yellow tourmalines are also know as canary tourmaline.

    Brown tourmaline meaning: brown tourmaline is an incredibly grounding stone, helping us feel strong and empowered in our physical body. Brown tourmaline is also know as Dravite.

    Rainbow tourmaline meaning:containing multiple mixed colours, rainbow tourmalines are all about restoring balance to the body, mind, and spirit.

    Watermelon tourmaline meaning:combining both pink and green tourmaline, watermelon tourmaline aligns us with love and compassion while filling us with vitality and strength.

    How to choose a tourmaline - the 4 Cs

    Tourmaline color

    The most important of the tourmaline quality factors is color. Tourmaline and all colored gemstones are evaluated for color using 3 different attributes - hue, tone, and saturation. Let's start with hue:

    Tourmaline hue

    "Hue" is the actual color of the tourmaline - whether blue, purple, green, or any other color. Certain colors like hot pink tourmaline, red, green, and blue colors are more in demand than others but it all comes down to personal preference when choosing your hue.

    Tourmaline comes in a full rainbow of hues and though they're all called tourmaline, some colors have their own distinct trade name:

    • Red Tourmaline: Rubellite

    • Green Tourmaline: Verdelite

    • Chrome Tourmaline: though green in color, they're considered their own category. These tourmalines are colored with chromium or vanadium and look almost identical to emeralds.

    • Blue Tourmaline: Indicolite

    • Pink Tourmaline

    • Watermelon Tourmaline

    • Multicolored Tourmaline

    • Black Tourmaline: Schorl

    • Brown Tourmaline: Dravite

    • Yellow tourmaline: Canary tourmaline

    • Paraiba tourmaline: extremely rare blue and green stones from Brazil

    Pear cut vibrant green tourmaline ring

    Tourmaline Saturation

    The most important factor when it comes to judging tourmaline color, saturation measures how rich and vivid the color is. The highest quality tourmaline are deeply saturated and vibrant, and less expensive tourmalines are more subdued, almost faded looking. The easiest way to envision saturation: think about a dress that starts off with a rich green color vs that same dress after 50 washes.

    Tourmaline Tone

    Tone measures how light or dark a gemstone is - think a light green vs a deep, dark green. Tourmalines comes in light, medium, and dark tones - medium toned tourmalines are usually the most aesthetic and in-demand tones.

    Dichroism in tourmalines

    Tourmalines are a 'pleochroic gemstone', meaning it can show different colors depending on the angle it's viewed from. One gem, multiple colors!

    How lighting affects color

    Some tourmalines will act like a mood ring under different lights - shifting depending on the lighting. Usually, red and pink tourmalines shine brighest under incandescent lights, whereas blue or green tourmalines show best in sunlight.

    how lighting affects tourmaline

    Tourmaline clarity

    Clarity is a measure of imperfections or inclusions in a gemstone - these can look like cracks, bubble, others minerals inside, needles, and more. Read our Complete Guide to Diamond Inclusions for more on inclusion types.

    The GIA categorizes gemstones into 3 types depending on their likelihood of containing inclusions:

    • Type 1 gems rarely contain inclusions in nature

    • Type 2 gems usually contain inclusions

    • Type 3 gems are almost always included

    Pink and red tourmalines are type 3 gems meaning they will almost always have visible inclusions, and all the other colors of tourmaline are considered type 2 gems, meaning they usually (but don't always) contain inclusions.

    Generally, the goal is a stone without any distracting or surface-reaching inclusions. And keep in mind, the more vivid the color, the more the blemishes will be hidden. And some inclusions actually enhance the stone, like certain needle-like inclusions which can cause a cat eye effect that's stunning to see.

    Tourmaline Cut

    Because of how tourmaline crystals form in nature, they're often cut into long, slender shapes like emerald cut, or pear cut. Regardless of the shape through, for the most aesthetic, sparkling stone, look for symmetry in both shape and facets, as well as even light distribution. Avoid stones with dark or dull areas.

    Tourmaline absorbs light directly differently along the length of a stone - this is known as 'pleochroism' and it's why cut it so important. Because a gemstone can look different depending on the direction, the cut will determine how the color appears.

    Emerald cut green tourmaline ring with diamond side stones

    Three stone oval cut green tourmaline ring

    Tourmaline Carat Weight

    Carat is dependant on your preferences and budget. Tourmalines, unlike many other gems, are often found in larger sizes so the price doesn't increase as exponentially with larger sizes as it does for other gems like diamond and sapphires. So, if you believe bigger is better, a tourmaline is a great option to get a sizeable stone with a more modest budget. The only exception to this rule is Paraíba tourmaline which is significantly more expensive and is rarely found in sizes over one carat.

    Caring for Tourmaline Jewelry

    Rated a 7 - 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, tourmaline is a decently durable stone but definitely not indestructible. To keep it looking its best, follow these basic care tips:

    • Clean your tourmaline jewelry with warm water, a mild dishsoap, and a soft bristle toothbrush. Clean both on top and beneath the stone to remove all dirt and debris and restore its sparkle and shine.

    • Keep your tourmaline ring or jewelry away from harsh chemicals and avoid ultrasonic cleaners.

    • Take your ring off before swimming in pools and hot tubs.
    • Avoid extreme temperatures - tourmalines can react badly to extreme heat or cold (and especially rapid changes in temperature).

    • Remove your tourmaline jewelry for any potentially damaging activities - any significant impact can cause damage to your gemstone.

    If you're looking for a more durable gemstone, try sapphires which are rated a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale and also come in a vibrant rainbow of colors.

    Tourmaline treatments

    Many tourmaline are heat treated to improve the color and/or clarity of the stone. This is a routine treatment and doesn't affect the quality of the stone when done properly. Other treatments like irradiation and oiling can also be done but should be disclosed to the buyer.

    Your tourmaline questions answered

    How to tell if a tourmaline is fake or synthetic?

    Tourmaline has never been successfully created in a lab, so most tourmaline you see is naturally mined from the Earth. Having said that, there are imitations floating around - these are made by sandwiching a thin piece of colored glass or plastic between two pieces of clear glass. To spot these faux stones, examine the stone through a jeweler's loupe - you'll see the edge of the colored glass/plastic along the girdle of the stone or bubbles between the layers where the glue would be.

    What is the spiritual meaning of tourmaline?

    Black tourmaline wards off negative energy, pink tourmaline connects us with love and compassion, green tourmaline gives us energy and strength, purple tourmaline helps us with manifestation, red tourmaline give us motivation and passion, blue tourmaline helps us communication openly and honestly, yellow tourmaline transforms negativity into positivity, brown tourmaline helps ground us, and watermelon tourmaline balances our heart chakra.

    What is a tourmaline stone good for?

    Tourmaline has infinite uses depending on the color of the stone - there is a tourmaline for every chakra and spiritual purpose.

    Why is tourmaline so special?

    Tourmaline is a powerful energetic stone and comes in a massive array of incredibly vibrant colors. It's even found in bi-color pink and green colors that look just like a watermelon.

    What does tourmaline protect you from?

    Tourmaline protects you from negative energies and emotions.

    Three stone oval cut pink tourmaline ring

    oval cut green tourmaline ring

    Oval cut light green tourmaline ring

    Is tourmaline a gem or a stone?

    Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone often found in fine jewelry pieces.

    Is tourmaline a rare gem?

    Red, blue, purple, yellow, pink, orange, and watermelon tourmalines are rare, whereas other colors like brown, black are more commonly found. Paraiba tourmalines are one of the rarest gemstones on the planet, with only one found for every 10,000 diamonds.

    Is tourmaline worth money?

    Tourmalines, just like most gemstones are valued according to their quality. The highest quality, rarer stones are worth more, whereas the low-quality, less in-demand tourmalines are valued lower.

    Where to buy tourmaline jewelry

    If you're a Gem Breakfast frequenter, you know we love a good tourmaline. Between one-of-a-kind tourmaline rings created by our roster of independent female designers and our custom and OOAK tourmaline rings and earrings created by our in-house line, Made by Gem Breakfast, there's a tourmaline treat for every appetite.

    Thinking of treating yourself (or your amore) to a tourmaline ring? Browse our selection of one-of-a-kind gemstone rings or book a free consultation to chat about creating something custom. Keep in mind, there's no up-charge to creating custom, so if you see something you like on the site, we can usually recreate that recipe for around the same price.

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