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Tourmaline

Sources: Brazil, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Nigeria.

Hardness on Mohs scale: 7 – 7 1/2

Common Enhancements: Heating; Irradiation

Birthstone: October

Cleaning Methods:

  • Ultrasonic: not recommended
  • Steamer: not recommended
  • Warm soapy water: safe

Tourmaline is a group of mineral species, transparent to opaque that virtually come in all colors. A classic example of a “semi-precious” stone being much rarer than other “precious” stone is the variety called “Paraiba”, after the name of the state in Brazil where originally was found towards the end of the eighties. In the year 2000 another source of this color variety was discover in western Nigeria and more recently in the Alto Ligonha region in Mozambique, which are properly referred to as “Paraiba-type”. Paraiba tourmaline immediately became prized for their vivid coloration which is often referred to as “electric blue or “electric green” which is caused by traces of copper and manganese, while traces of iron produce the deep blue hues of Indicolite, another very rare variety. Rubellite is the trade name loosely applied to Tourmalines appreciated for their pleasant pink to red range of hues.

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