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Tourmaline is a unique stone in its range of colors and cost. It’s moderately durable and requires little special care. Tourmaline is a type of crystal silicate, meaning the different types of tourmaline stones may differ but still contain similar properties.
Tourmaline is also October’s birthstone and might be a desired embellishment for a bride or groom born during its month. Whether you’re interested in its versatility, affordability, or durability, it is important to be well versed in Tourmaline.
Before buying a ring embellished with this brilliant stone, it is important to be well versed in the mineral itself and all the factors of buying a tanzanite embellished ring, ownership, and upkeep.
As previously stated, the property values of Tourmaline may vary based on the type of Tourmaline you’re in the market for – however, the range of these properties is relatively slim.
Rather than overwhelming you with a list of useless knowledge, we will narrow the important factors down to two simple components of Tourmaline that we find most useful to the average consumer.
First, Tourmaline sits moderately high on its level of durability. On the hardness scale, Tourmaline ranges from 7.0 – 7.5, making it scratch resistant to matters that fall at a lower number than 7. To test the authenticity of your Tourmaline gemstone, scratch the surface with an item that is below the 7 range of the hardness scale – a fingernail, for example, sits at a low 2 – if your nail leaves a scratch on the Tourmaline, the stone you’re dealing with isn’t authentic.
If you’re well versed in testing specific gravity, the specific gravity of Tourmaline is 3.06. If none of that made sense to you, don’t worry, it doesn’t to the majority of consumers. A quick Google search will turn up easy to follow steps on testing for specific gravity and, if you’re unconvinced as to the authenticity of your stone, they may make for a useful experiment.
Red/Pink/Purple Tourmaline and Rubelite
Red, pink and purple tourmalines, as well as rubelite, are popular choices for tourmaline. The most popular shade of pink is a medium watermelon-like pink, while the most popular shade of red is a cherry or blood red. A Rubelite is another red tourmaline – however, a rubelite is a tourmaline with violet undertones and is highly desired.
Red tourmaline ranges from $200.00 – $300.00 per carat, pink tourmaline ranges from $80.00 – $100.00 per carat, and purple tourmaline is typically $200.00 per carat, doubling in price when the size exceeds one carat.
There are two types of blue tourmalines: Indigolite and Paraiba. Indigolate Tourmalines are the more common of the two and range from a medium to a dark blue. Paraiba Tourmalines are much more rare and valuable – these stones come in shockingly neon blue, green and purple shades and carry copper undertone.
Indigolite Tourmaline stones normally cost around $300.00 per carat, but can jump to $1000.00 per carat once the carat size exceeds 5 carats. Paraiba Tourmaline stones cost a shocking $2,000.00 per carat and can jump up to $50,000.00 for stones over 5 carats.
There are two types of green tourmaline: chrome green and bottle green. Chrome green tourmaline is a rare variety of the stone and is a light olive-like shade, while bottle green tourmaline is a much darker hue and is more commonly found.
Chrome green tourmaline is valued at about $1,500.00 per carat, while bottle green tourmaline will range from $300.00 to $500.00 per carat, jumping to $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 per carat once it exceed 5 carats.
Brown, Yellow and Orange Tourmaline
Brown, yellow and orange tourmalines are extremely affordable due to their availability. These stones are common and an easy, yet still stunning, choice for a price savvy bride or groom to be. Yellow and orange tourmaline stones will cost around $100.00 per carat while brown tourmaline stones are going for about $20.00 per carat.
Multi-Color Tourmaline stone certainly have a mystique to them. These stones normally range from 2-3 colors but some can have more and look like an actual rainbow. A high quality multi-color tourmaline ring won’t muddy the colors – instead, it will have clear and distinct definitions between the different shades, which will be evenly split (so 50/50, instead of 25/75).
A watermelon tourmaline is the most popular multi-color tourmaline stone. A watermelon tourmaline is a pink and green multi-color tourmaline with an even distribution of each color. Watermelon tourmaline’s typically cost $500.00 per carat.
It is also important to note that multi-color tourmaline stones developed a week spot where the colors meet so they do require special care that other colors may not.
Tourmaline stones undergo several enhancements that vary in the way which they alter and affect the stone and its value. Tourmaline stones are oftentimes heat treated – this is a common enhancement that does not alter the durability of the stone and has a minimal effect on its value. A second and less popular enhancement used on tourmaline is injections – tourmaline stones can be injected with resin and oil to improve the color, clarity or overall appearance of a tourmaline stone. Resin/oil injected tourmaline requires additional care and the price takes a moderate hit. A final and highly unpopular enhancement is color injections – this enhancement fades with exposure to light and heat and drastically decreases the value of the stone.
Caring for Tourmaline
Untreated tourmaline is moderately durable and needs little special care to maintain the stone. However, despite its high durability, Tourmaline can still be scratched and chipped by harder stones and items. Untreated tourmaline is not damaged by heat or direct sunlight, but as with any stone, it is recommended to clean your tourmaline with a soft cloth and warm water and soap.
It is important to remember that tourmaline can be scratched by matters that hold a hardness level of 7 or higher so it is smart to store your beautiful gem encrusted ring in a secured box, pouch, or away from any diamonds or products that may flaw the stone.
As with any fine stone, it is recommended to remove your ring prior to exposing your hands to harsh household chemicals or chlorinated pools.
An enhanced tourmaline stone may require special care that exceeds that of an untreated one, which in an important factor to keep in mind when shopping for your stone.
Am I ready to buy?
Absolutely! But we’d like to reiterate some key facts before you’re on your way.
1. If you have a tourmaline stone and want to get it cut down to make a custom cut ring, be sure to take your ring to a professional jeweler or gemologist. A quality custom cut will increase the value of your stone exponentially.
2. Tourmaline a versatile stone that can be purchased in numerous cuts and accents a wide array of bands – shop around to ensure optimum satisfaction with the ring you decide to go with.
3. When buying a used or antique gem, make sure to get it inspected by a certified gemologist for imperfections that may not be visible to the naked eye. When buying Tourmaline and diamond ring, be vocal in wanting certifications on the diamonds that you’re buying.