Tourmaline is one of two birthstones associated with October, the other being Opal. In 1952, the American Gem Society and the National Retail Jewelers Council added Tourmaline as one of October’s birthstones. What a happy and fortuitous addition for those born in October! Tourmaline comes in a veritable rainbow of colors and gives tremendously beautiful options to choose from. Indeed, its very name comes from the Sinhalese word toramalli which means stone of mixed colors.
Tourmaline is a Boron Silicate with a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. It usually forms long, striated, and prismatic rods and belongs in the Hexagonal (Trigonal) crystal system. Tourmaline comes in a wide variety of colors that range from transparent to almost opaque.
Black Tourmaline is known as the ultimate Protection Stone and is usually the one most people turn to when looking for a stone with strong, protective qualities. Brown Tourmaline (Dravite) is also a powerful protector. Pink Tourmaline and Watermelon Tourmaline are known as Stones of Reconciliation due to the ability to link mind, body and spirit and to help you to release the past in order to reconcile yourself.
Tourmaline is considered to be Piezoelectric. This means an electrical charge can form on both ends when heated or vibrated (rubbed). This is an unusual, unique trait for gemstones and is a special feature in Tourmaline.
Tourmaline is found in most countries but most commonly found in Brazil, who has been the leading source for approximately 500 years. They are also found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, and other countries in Africa. California and Maine in the United States produce fine specimens, as well.
HISTORY & FOLKLORE
Tourmaline was not recognized as it’s own gem until 1793. Prior to this they were another stone that were mistaken for rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Russian crown jewels from the 17th century contain red tourmaline (Rubellite) instead of the rubies they thought them to be.
Most Tourmaline does not contain copper; however, in 1989 and 1990 they found what was to become the most valuable Tourmaline. The stones are called Paraiba Tourmaline and are named after the locality they were found, mines in Paraiba and Rio Grande Norte, Brazil. The coloration of these stones are intense, vivid blues and greens. The intensity is attributed to trace amounts of copper.
Later, violet specimens were found in the same area. They got their vividness from trace amounts of copper and manganese. In 2001, similar gems were found in Nigeria and Mozambique and they called them Paraiba in order to benefit from the ability to charge more for these stones. This caused a great controversy since most people will pay more for a Paraiba Tourmaline and feel that only those from the original location should be marketed as such. Eventually, they were allowed to continue marketing them this way because gemologists said they were essentially the same in all ways. Why did it matter? Because from the very beginning the Paraiba sold for $2,000 a carat and a quality, faceted 1 carat Paraiba was selling for over $10,000.
Historically, the Aboriginal, Native American and African shamans used Black Tourmaline as a healing tool that could also protect from all dangers originating in the earthly plane. The Egyptians thought Tourmaline journeyed from the center of the earth and traversed over a rainbow thereby taking on all the colors of the rainbow.
A likeness of Alexander the Great that had been carved in tourmaline, dating back to the third century BC was found in India. This culture used tourmaline in rituals and considered it to be a “teller” stone that would direct or provide insight on who or what was causing trouble. The Romans used them to help them sleep and relax and calm their minds.
Dutch traders in the 1700s brought them to Europe and used them to pull ashes from their Meerschaum pipes. They called them Aschentrekker or “ash puller” for their ability to attract and repel hot ashes from coals when the stone was laid close to the coals. What a varied history Tourmaline has!
Black Tourmaline is associated with Manat, Arabian Goddess of the Waning Moon, Time, Destiny and Death. Blue Tourmaline is associated with Whope (Wohpe), Lakota Sioux Goddess of Peace. All Tourmaline are associated with Al-Uzza, Nabataean Moon Goddess of the Full Moon and Mothers.
HEALING PROPERTIES & USES OF TOURMALINE
Metaphysically and physically, Tourmaline is used in many ways. Let’s break it down by color to find which Tourmaline may be best for you and what you may need.
Black Tourmaline (Schorl) is powerfully protective against EMFs, psychic attack and all negative energies. It is a great grounding stone and a fantastic Root Chakra stone. Many people grid their homes with Black Tourmaline to protect themselves from negativity and ill wishers. It helps you to dispel your own negative thoughts and promotes positive thoughts. Physically, it is said to purify toxins in your body, strengthen immune systems, protect you from debilitating illness and provide pain relief even for arthritis. Since this stone is such a powerhouse of protection be sure to cleanse it regularly with your favorite cleansing tools.
Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite) is a Throat and Third Eye Chakra stone. It stimulates expression of self and provides visions, and enhances your psychic awareness. It is a great stone to assist you in harmonizing with the environment. It promotes peace and service to others. It is fantastic for healers as it will prevent negativity from attaching itself to you. Physically, it is especially good for the throat, lungs and eyes. It is purported to be beneficial for the brain, immune system and pulmonary system.
Brown Tourmaline (Dravite) is a Root Chakra stone. It is said to clear the aura and align your etheric body. It is a wonderful grounding stone. It enhances and stimulates creativity. Dravite will support you in a large group, making you feel at ease. It encourages empathy and is said to heal family relations. Physically, it stimulates the regenerative powers in your body and helps with skin disease and intestinal problems.
Colorless Tourmaline (Achroite) is a Crown Chakra stone. It is said to synthesize all of the other colors. Physically, it works on aligning the meridians of your physical and etheric bodies.
Green Tourmaline (Verdelite) is a Heart Chakra stone. It is a nurturing stone that opens you up to compassion, balance, joy and patience. It is said to assists you in visualization. It also transmutes negative energy to positive energy. It helps to inspire your creativity. It is a stone of prosperity. You are more able to see all solutions to problems and choose the best one for you. Physically, it helps with sleep issues and assists you in calming your mind. It is great as a detoxifier and wonderful to help rid you of constipation and/or diarrhea. It is said to reduce panic attacks and claustrophobia. Green Tourmaline is used to boost the immune system, treat the brain, eyes and heart. It is also said to be beneficial for hyperactivity.
Multicolored Tourmaline (Elbaite) is good for all chakras since it has all colors and thereby brings your mind, body and spirit into an aligned wholeness. It is great for the imagination, creativity, visualization and dreaming. Physically, multicolored Tourmaline stimulates your metabolism and immune system.
Pink Tourmaline is a Heart Chakra stone. It is a stone of compassion and can dispel emotional pain and helps you to release old destructive emotions. It cleanses your heart and helps you to trust in love. It shows you that you must love yourself in order to be loved by others. It promotes sharing physical pleasure and is sometimes called an aphrodisiac stone that helps you to attract love. Pink Tourmaline is a stone of peace, reconciliation and wisdom. Physically, Pink Tourmaline is good for the heart, skin and lungs and corrects an endocrine system that is dysfunctional.
Purple/Violet Tourmaline is a stone that connects the Root and Heart Chakras and a Third Eye Chakra stone as well. This Tourmaline can heal your heart and increase a loving environment. It stimulates intuition and creativity. It can unblock your Third Eye and help you to see through illusions. It is said to help heal past life issues by taking you to the beginning of the problem and then dispelling it. Physically, Purple/Violet Tourmaline is great with Alzheimers, epilepsy, depression and OCD.
Red Tourmaline (Rubellite) is a Root, Sacral and Heart Chakra stone. It is a stone of stamina, increases creativity and energizes the Sacral. Red Tourmaline helps you understand love and encourages flexibility. Physically, Red Tourmaline works on the heart, reproductive system, blood vessels and circulation, spleen and liver. It is a detoxification stone and alleviates muscle spasms.
Tourmalinated Quartz is good for all chakras. It is a Clear Quartz that has Black Tourmaline crystals within it. The Black Tourmaline strengthens the Clear Quartz by acting as a cleansing agent that grounds the quartz and keeps it cleared from negativity. The quartz, in turn, amplifies the purifying energy of the Black Tourmaline. This makes for a powerful ally for ridding negativity, repairing the auric field and aligning all chakras to peak performance. It is wonderful to stimulate clarity and provide a strong psychic protection. Physically, Tourmalinated Quartz is a useful tool to have in healing areas since negative energies released are purified by this stone that transmutes it into positive, usable energies. It also helps in the purification and detoxification process after substance abuse.
Watermelon Tourmaline (pink and green) is a superb Heart Chakra stone. It helps you to find joy in your life. It helps instill love and friendship and unites your higher self with your heart. It is said to release old emotional issues and promote healthy relationships. Physically, Watermelon Tourmaline is helpful in treating depression and phobias. It assists your nerves to regenerate, relieves stress and dissolves any internal resistance to becoming whole again.
Yellow Tourmaline is a Solar Plexus Chakra stone that will stimulate your own personal power. It is a great stone for intellectual or business pursuits. Physically, Yellow Tourmaline is great for healing the gallbladder, kidneys, liver, spleen and stomach.
Happy Birthday to our October Friends! What a joy for you to have Tourmaline as your own very special birthstone! Tourmaline is a strong ally for all but especially for those born in October. You have a plethora of colors to choose from and each one has significant qualities that can enhance your life’s journey. From protection to love, compassion, creativity, joy and so many other attributes. You are sure to find something that resonates strongly for you.
P.S. If you would like to read about one of your other birthstones, Opal, you can read more here and here.