Black Tourmaline

July 22, 2020

Black is a colour that is always in fashion and how do you accessorise a dark ensemble? With black gemstones of course, and tourmalinedelivers the goods.

Tourmalines name is based off the Sinhalese word “turmali” which originates from Sir Lanka and the name tourmaline actually happened because of a mistake. One day a consignment of tourmaline was sent from Sri Lanka and was the word turmali was misspelt and written as Turmalin on the consignment. Because of this misspell the name tourmaline was born and has stuck ever since.

Tourmalines make up a good group of closely related mineral species that share the same crystal structure but have different chemical constituents and physical characteristics. With one of the longer and more ridiculous chemical compositions, tourmaline is simply referred to as a complex boro-silicate. Each species is defined by their individual properties and chemical composition – all sharing the elements silicon, aluminium and boron they each contain their own complex mixture of other elements. The major tourmaline species are elibaite, liddicoatite, dravite, uvite and schorl, with most gem tourmalines being elibaites, rich in sodium, lithium, aluminium and very rarely copper.

Tourmaline has always been prized for its vast array of colours and magnificent parti-coloured varieties including the lustful watermelon tourmaline, however, the sleek crystals of black tourmaline (schorl) are the focal point of our current collection. What black tourmaline lacks in colour and clarity it makes up for in texture and form.

Tourmaline is usually found in a number of locations including Sri Lanka, Africa, USA, Australia and Pakistan. Found in fine delicate sizes with some crystals reaching over one meter in length, tourmaline may also include another mineral (e.g quartz) and create and entirely different visual effect. Unearthed from pegmatites, rare igneous rocks, an assortment of gem tourmaline colours may be found in the one pocket along with a bevy of other minerals. Schorl, a heavier mineral dense crystal will form deeper along with other dark minerals.

Forming in masses, prismatic crystals, flat crystals (due to multiple twinning), with/without striations in both large chunky prisms as well as thin, elegant crystals this ebony gem has many forms to offer and inspire jewellery designs. Bunny Bedi, owner and designer at Made In Earth creates bold and dynamic designs using this statement rock.

“Being such an abundant mineral doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right crystals for my designs. Some stones can be brittle and not appropriate for setting in jewellery, while others are simply too big and so I need to be creative and cut them down whilst still retaining some natural textural surfaces.

“Black tourmaline is known as being one of the most protective stones in the metaphysical world. These properties, paired with the raw elegance of natural crystals boost this gem popularity. Tourmalinated quartz brings together two powerful minerals and our faceted stones are a fresh look for this dark stone.”


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