Tantalising tourmaline - 11 facts about this chameleon of a gemstone
1. Tourmaline is not only one of October's birthstones, it is also the gemstone that marks the 8th anniversary and the Zodiac sign of ‘Leo’.
2. Tourmaline is rated from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs’ scale of hardness, Diamond being the hardest at 10.
3. Very few gems match up to tourmaline when it comes to the dazzling array of colours that it is found in. Ranging from pastel pink to a deep black/blue and everything in between. One of the most loved being the pink/red variety known as rubellite.
4. The Chinese Dowager Empress Tz’u Hsi was particularly fond of pink and red tourmaline, so much so that it was shipped from California to China specially for her.
5. According to the Guinness World Records the largest tourmaline measures 36.44 x 33.75 x 21.85 mm and has a weight of 191.87 carats. It was revealed on 14 October 2009 in Montreal, Canada.
6. The first tourmaline was discovered in 1554 by a Spanish explorer. It was green and was thought to be an emerald. This was widely believed until tourmaline was recognized as its own mineral species in the 1800s.
7. Tourmaline is widely believed, in modern alternative medicine, to have healing powers. It is thought to help relieve stress and boost the immune system.
8. There is a variety of tourmaline named after the watermelon. It is so named for its mouth-watering display of green and pink hues that perfectly bring to mind the fruit.
9. The Egyptians used tourmaline to heal both emotional and physical illness, they believed that it helped the lymph glands and nervous system.
10. One of the most iconic tourmaline pieces, named the Great Divide, was found in the Pederneira Mine in Brazil in 2011.
11. Much of the worlds tourmaline comes from Brazil. It is also found across the globe in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, Burma, Canada, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand and many more!
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