Tourmaline is a complex series of silicates which have a variety of species which is largely differentiated by chemical composition (such as Elbaite and Uvite) and then some less scientific terms used in the gemstone trade (Rubellite, Indicolite). The mineralogical society recognizes 33 species of Tourmaline and would be too much for this area so please check back soon for our coming post about Tourmaline in the Education page!
Tourmaline in general can come from a wide variety of locales from all over the world and can be an array of colors like few other minerals. While basic pieces were relatively common a decade ago, high quality Tourmaline has always been and is becoming more progressively harder to find. Particularly difficult to locate are high quality U.S. Tourmaline, and Tourmaline with 3 or more color zones.
What to look for: Color, Luster, Internal Clarity, Less or No Damage, Complex or Modified Terminations, Clusters, Double Terminations, Associations, Rare Localities, Size, Specimens on Matrix.