The Intrepid Wendell works with many authentic gemstones to create bespoke jewelry. Tourmaline is one of many natural stone varieties with a wide color range. Choose pink tourmalines for your design or explore other options for your ideal custom piece.
The Origins of Tourmaline
Tourmaline was first discovered in the 1500s in Brazil by a Spanish conquistador. At the time, it was believed to be an emerald. It was not until three centuries later that scientists recognized the stone as its own mineral species and named it “tourmaline.” There are various subspecies of tourmaline, each with a unique chemical makeup. The elbaite species is one of the most common, and it is rich in sodium, aluminum, and lithium. In rare cases, this species also includes copper.
The name originates from the Sinhalese word tormalli, meaning “mixed gems.” Dutch merchants commonly used this term to describe multicolored stones found by miners in the Ceylon gem gravels. Ceylon is modern-day Sri Lanka.
The stone’s namesake was further reinforced in the 1980s and 1990s when more color varieties were discovered in Brazil. Tourmaline forms in a variety of colors, from reds and greens to blues and yellows. The most well-known variation of tourmaline is pink, which is October’s birthstone alongside opal. Tourmaline is also the gemstone for the eighth anniversary.
Tourmaline is most often mined in Brazil and Africa. The United States has also been a source of tourmaline in Maine and California. In the 1800s, China relied on the United States for its tourmaline, so much so that the American tourmaline trade collapsed in 1912 along with the Chinese government.
Each color group of tourmaline has a distinct category, and some originate from specific locations.
- Rubellite: These tourmalines are pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red. It is highly debated whether pink tourmaline fits into this category or defines its own.
- Chrome: Brazilian and African soils produce chrome tourmaline, an intense green commonly created by vanadium. This element is also responsible for emeralds.
- Paraiba: This uniquely blue-violet or blue-green tourmaline only comes from Paraiba, Brazil.
- Parti-colored: Tourmalines with multiple colors are called parti-colored. A well-known variety is called a “watermelon tourmaline” with green on the outside and pink on the inside.
Bespoke Tourmaline Jewelry at The Intrepid Wendell
Whether you prefer tourmaline’s beloved pink or another variety of the stone, this gem can be a beautiful detail in a custom piece of jewelry. The Intrepid Wendell designs and creates bespoke pieces inspired by your personal story and vision. Tourmaline is a stunning addition to engagement rings, pendants, earrings, and many other pieces.
We source our tourmalines from locations throughout Brazil, Africa, and the United States to craft fine jewelry with authentic gemstones. Start collaborating with our designers to make your tourmaline piece a reality.
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The Intrepid Wendell crafts custom jewelry with a team of creative and passionate designers. Inquire today about our process for bringing your bespoke piece to life.Design With Us Today