Tourmaline has become a very popular jewelry stone due to its amazing range
of colors, its very good hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale), and its vitreous luster and excellent clarity. While tourmaline
does not have an especially high refractive index -- rating between topaz and peridot-- there is no other gemstone which displays
such a variety of colors, sometimes even in the same gemstone!But not all tourmaline have the same value in the market. Some
varieties are especially rare and valuable, while others are nearly as inexpensive as quartz. In between are a range of fascinating
colors that represent some of the best values in the gemstone world. Here's a quick guide to tourmaline value.
Surely the most rare and expensive tourmaline is the so-called paraiba
tourmaline, an electric blue-green variety that was first discovered in the Brazilian state of Paraiba in 1989. Colored by
copper and manganese, this new tourmaline caused a sensation in the market. The market demand was so great and the supply
so limited that the original Brazilian mine has been mostly worked out. However, in 2001 some similar copper-bearing blue-green
tourmaline was discovered in Nigeria; then in 2005 a third find was made, this time in Mozambique. However, supply continues
to be very limited, keeping prices exceptionally high.
Pink has become one of the most popular colors in gemstones, and no gemstone offers as many choices in pink as tourmaline.You
can find every possible shade of pink in tourmaline, including unusual bi-color and tri-color pieces. If you're searching
for a hot pink gem, you'll most likely find it in tourmaline. But you'll also find soft pinks in every imaginable shade.Some
fine pink gems, such as kunzite and morganite, are typically found in delicate shades of pink. In tourmaline you can find
saturated pinks that range from the pink-red rubellite to rose to carnation pink.Tourmaline is also one of the few pink gems
that can be found in large sizes. There are some outstanding pinks in sapphire, for example, but you were rarely find them
in sizes over one or two carats, and they tend to be rather expensive. Pink tourmaline can be found in sizes over 5 carats
at affordable prices.