Tourmaline is the gemmological name for an important group of gem quality minerals and thanks to its wide array of colours, Tourmaline is considered to be one of today's most versatile gemstones.
Its rainbow of colour varieties means that most Tourmaline now has a colour-specific name, with some of the most popular being the pink-red Rubellite, the blue-green Paraiba and the pink-green Watermelon Tourmaline or bi-colour Tourmaline.
All coloured Tourmaline displays pleochroism, changing colour and colour intensity depending on the angle at which it is viewed.
Sources: Key sources of Tourmaline are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the USA. However, several African countries have recently become big producers of gem Tourmaline, including Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Similar gemstones: Tourmaline's wide range of colours mean it can be confused with many other gemstones. Green Tourmaline can resemble Emerald, Peridot, Demantoid and Tsavorite. Red Tourmaline is similar to Ruby, Spinel and Garnet. Pink Tourmaline bears a resemblance to Kunzite, Spinel, Pink Topaz, Morganite and Pink Sapphire, while Blue Tourmaline may be mistaken for Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Sapphire and Zircon.
Colour palette: Tourmaline can be found in a wide range of colours from colourless (the rarest and least valuable) all the way through to black (the most common). The majority of Tourmaline gemstones display two or more colours or two tones of the same colour.
Achroite is a colourless variety of Tourmaline.
Canary Tourmaline is a bright yellow Tourmaline from Malawi.
Chrome Tourmaline has a deep green colour.
Dravite is a brown Tourmaline.
Elbaite is a mineral group within the Tourmaline group and gemstones in this group are most green and multicoloured.
Indicolite is a light to dark blue variety of Tourmaline.
Paraiba Tourmaline is a popular, neon blue variety of Tourmaline.
Rubellite is pink to red Tourmaline.
Schorl is the black variety of Tourmaline.
Siberite is the name occasionally used to describe purple Tourmaline.
Verdelite is a term for green Tourmaline.
Watermelon Tourmaline is a multicolored Tourmaline featuring shades of pink-red at one end and green at the other.
More information about Tourmaline: Tourmaline is not a designated Birthstone. However, Tourmaline is the 8th Wedding Anniversary gemstone and Pink Tourmaline is an alternative 5th Wedding Anniversary gemstone.