Most people know that Opal is the birthstone for October. There’s another gemstone that is more durable and is also considered a birthstone for October.
Tourmalines have a wide variety of exciting colors with one of the widest color ranges of any gem. Many tourmaline color varieties have inspired their own trade names:
- Rubellite is a name for pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red tourmaline, although some in the trade argue that the term shouldn’t apply to pink tourmaline.
- Indicolite is dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline.
- Paraíba is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil.
- Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s colored mostly by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds.
- Parti-colored tourmaline displays more than one color. One of the most common combinations is green and pink, but many others are possible.
- Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the center and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement.
Tourmaline’s colors have many different causes. It’s generally agreed that traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colors. Manganese produces reds and pinks, and possibly yellows. Some pink and yellow tourmalines might owe their hues to color centers caused by radiation, which can be natural or laboratory-induced.
Tourmalines are mined around the world. There’s actually a very large Tourmaline mine in Maine that has produced many pink tourmalines over the years.
Tourmaline is a birthstone for October, along with opal. Tourmaline is also the gem of the eighth anniversary.
Some information from the GIA web site.