Home Knowledges The World’s Rarest Tourmaline: Everything You Need To Know

The World’s Rarest Tourmaline: Everything You Need To Know

by Madonna

Tourmaline, with its mesmerizing spectrum of colors and unique properties, has always been a gemstone of fascination for gem collectors, jewelers, and geologists alike. Within the tourmaline family, some varieties stand out as exceptionally rare, coveted, and often shrouded in mystery. In this article, we embark on a journey to discover the rarest tourmaline in the world, shedding light on their origins, characteristics, and the allure that makes them the crown jewels of the gem world.

Introduction to Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a complex borosilicate mineral that can be found in various colors and shades. Its name derives from the Singhalese word “turamali,” which means “stone with mixed colors.” This moniker perfectly encapsulates tourmaline’s enchanting diversity. Its crystal structure consists of long, prismatic columns, and its unique electrical properties make it one of the few gemstones that can become electrically charged when heated or rubbed.


Tourmaline is not only renowned for its mesmerizing colors but also for its dichroism, a property where it can appear different colors when viewed from different angles. Its diverse palette includes shades like pink, green, blue, yellow, brown, black, and even colorless, making it a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts.


A Spectrum of Colors

Before delving into the rarest tourmaline varieties, it’s essential to understand the broad spectrum of colors this gemstone can exhibit. Each color variation has its unique charm and appeal:


1. Rubellite Tourmaline:

This variant displays stunning deep pink to red hues. Rubellite is prized for its intense and vibrant coloration.

2. Paraiba Tourmaline:

Paraiba tourmalines, especially those from Brazil, are known for their electrifying neon blue and green shades. Their rarity and brilliance command incredibly high prices in the market.

3. Indicolite Tourmaline:

A deep blue variety, indicolite is cherished for its serene and calming appearance. The finest specimens display a rich, velvety blue.

4. Chrome Tourmaline:

Chrome tourmaline is celebrated for its lush green colors, often compared to emeralds. The presence of chromium impurities gives it this vivid green hue.

5. Watermelon Tourmaline:

Aptly named, this tourmaline variety exhibits a green rind and a pink core, resembling a watermelon’s cross-section. It’s highly sought after for its unique appearance.

6. Bi-color and Tri-color Tourmaline:

These varieties showcase more than one color in a single crystal, often in distinct bands or sections. They are appreciated for their visual complexity and rarity.

See Also: Tourmaline Crystal: Nature’s Gem of Healing & Protection

What is the rare tourmaline variety?

While all tourmaline varieties have their allure, the rarest tourmalines possess exceptional qualities that set them apart from the rest. Let’s dive into the world of these extraordinary gems.

1. Paraiba Tourmaline: Neon Dreams

Paraiba tourmaline, named after the Brazilian state of Paraíba where it was first discovered in the late 1980s, is undoubtedly one of the rarest and most coveted tourmaline varieties in the world. What makes Paraiba tourmaline truly exceptional is its striking neon blue and green hues, often described as “electric” due to their intensity.

a. Origins and Chemistry

Paraiba tourmaline’s mesmerizing colors are attributed to the presence of copper and manganese within its crystal structure. Copper, in particular, is responsible for the gem’s stunning turquoise and neon blue shades. The combination of these trace elements creates a luminescent glow that sets Paraiba tourmaline apart from any other gemstone.

The discovery of Paraiba tourmaline sent shockwaves through the gemstone world. The gem’s rarity, combined with its unparalleled beauty, led to skyrocketing prices and fervent demand among collectors and connoisseurs. The initial mines in Brazil produced limited quantities of this gem, further fueling its exclusivity.

b. Beyond Brazil

While Brazil remains the primary source of Paraiba tourmaline, deposits have also been found in Mozambique and Nigeria, albeit in smaller quantities. These African finds have helped alleviate some of the market pressure, making Paraiba tourmaline slightly more accessible to collectors.

2. Pink Tourmaline: The Delicate Elegance

Pink tourmaline, also known as rubellite, is another cherished variety known for its captivating pink to red hues. While it may not be as rare as Paraiba tourmaline, exceptional rubellites with vivid, pure pink colors are still considered precious and highly sought after.

a.Origins and Chemistry

The vibrant pink color of rubellite is attributed to manganese and lithium impurities within the tourmaline crystal. Unlike the neon glow of Paraiba tourmaline, rubellite possesses a more delicate and elegant charm.

Rubellite deposits can be found in various parts of the world, including Brazil, Madagascar, and Afghanistan. Brazilian rubellites, in particular, are famous for their intense pink and red hues.

b. Variations and Grading

Pink tourmaline comes in a range of pink shades, from pale pastels to deep reds. Gemologists often evaluate rubellite based on its color, clarity, and size. The most valuable rubellites are those with a pure, intense pink or red color and minimal inclusions.

3. Indicolite Tourmaline: The Deep Blue Mystery

Indicolite tourmaline is celebrated for its tranquil deep blue color, reminiscent of a serene ocean. This variety exudes a calming energy that has made it a favorite among jewelry designers and collectors.

a. Origins and Chemistry

The blue color of indicolite is primarily attributed to the presence of iron within the tourmaline crystal structure. Depending on the iron’s oxidation state, indicolite can range from pale blue to a deep, almost sapphire-like hue.

Indicolite deposits can be found in various locations worldwide, including Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar. Brazilian indicolites, often called “Brazilian sapphires,” are renowned for their intense blue coloration.

b. The Allure of Indicolite

Indicolite’s allure lies not only in its captivating color but also in its rarity. True, intense blue indicolite tourmalines are relatively scarce, making them highly prized by gem enthusiasts and jewelry collectors alike. The gem’s calming energy and mesmerizing beauty further enhance its desirability.

The symbolic and spiritual meaning of tourmaline

Tourmaline, with its vibrant spectrum of colors and unique properties, has been associated with various symbolic and spiritual meanings across different cultures and belief systems throughout history. These meanings often reflect the gemstone’s diverse colors and energies. Below, we explore some of the symbolic and spiritual meanings attributed to tourmaline:

1. Protection and Grounding:

Black Tourmaline: Black tourmaline, known for its deep black color, is often associated with protection and grounding. It is believed to absorb negative energies, providing a shield against psychic attacks, negative thoughts, and harmful influences. Many people use black tourmaline as a talisman for protection and to maintain a sense of balance and stability in their lives.

2. Emotional Healing and Balance:

Pink Tourmaline: Pink tourmaline, also known as rubellite, is associated with matters of the heart and emotional healing. It is believed to help release emotional pain, trauma, and grief, promoting love, compassion, and self-acceptance. Pink tourmaline is often used to enhance feelings of love, both for oneself and in relationships.

3. Creativity and Inspiration:

Green Tourmaline: Green tourmaline is linked to the heart chakra and is said to encourage growth, creativity, and inspiration. It is believed to promote a sense of abundance, vitality, and well-being. This stone is often used to foster a deeper connection with nature and the energies of the Earth.

4. Communication and Self-expression:

Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite): Blue tourmaline, or indicolite, is associated with the throat chakra, which governs communication and self-expression. It is believed to enhance one’s ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and authentically. Blue tourmaline can also facilitate inner truth and self-awareness.

5. Spiritual Growth and Awareness:

Colorless Tourmaline (Achroite): Colorless tourmaline, also known as achroite, is often associated with purity and spiritual clarity. It is believed to enhance one’s spiritual awareness, psychic abilities, and connection to higher realms. Colorless tourmaline is favored by those on a spiritual journey seeking enlightenment and inner wisdom.

6. Balancing Energy Centers:

Multi-colored Tourmaline (Rainbow Tourmaline): Multi-colored or rainbow tourmaline contains a combination of different colors within a single crystal. This variety is believed to balance and align all the chakras, making it an excellent choice for overall energy harmonization and spiritual growth.

See Also: What is Tourmaline stone used for: A Quick Guide

Conclusion: Treasures of the Earth

Tourmaline, with its kaleidoscope of colors and remarkable properties, continues to captivate the world of gem enthusiasts. While many tourmaline varieties are celebrated for their beauty, some stand out as exceptionally rare and precious.

Whether you are a gem collector, a jewelry designer, or simply an admirer of nature’s beauty, tourmaline’s rarest varieties offer a glimpse into the remarkable and diverse world of gemstones. These treasures of the Earth continue to inspire awe and wonder, reminding us of the astonishing beauty that can be found beneath the surface of our planet.


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