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Indicolite covers all shades
of blue tourmaline from blue-
green turquoise colours to
the strong blue of a sapphire.
A lot of blue tourmaline is dark
and inky. This is not popular
with buyers so as a result much of
blue tourmaine is heated to lighten it.
Rubelite is one of the most valuable and desired in the toumaline family.
The translation of rubelite is "red" and real rubelite shoud be a hot
pink to red colour with a blue to violet tone. There should be no yellow
or brown tones. The value of rubelite has increased greatly over recent
years, as many of the major jewellery designers have used it in their designs
Good deposits of rubelite canbe found in Tanzania and Nigeria. Lower quality
rubelite is often heat treated to strengthen the colour.
Below L to R: Blue Indicolite, Rubelite and Verdelite
Many people associate yellow-green or bottle greet with verdelite (green tourmaline).
Although these are the most common shades of green they are not the finest.
Emerald green, chrome green, and bright leaf green are the most prized colours, and the
most difficult to source. It is hard to find a clean green tourmaline of larger than 5 carats.
Bright yellow tourmalines are not common or easy to find.
PARAIBA NEONS -
In the 1980's a mine in the Brazilian state of Paraiba called the Jose de
Paraiba mine began producing a type of tourmaline that was like no other.
It is seen as the most important tourmaline find of the 20th century.
The colour varieties ranged from vibrant and intense greens, turquoise blues
and lilacs, which became know as the neon tourmalines. The jewellery world
loved these new colours and the price went way up. There were rumours that
these neons may have been the result of a special heating process, however ths
has never been confirmed. Demand for this neon tourmaline was great and now
that the original deposit has been fully mined, there is only a small and dwindling
amount left on the market and the price is high.
Below L to R : Paraiba green and blue neon tourmaline, and tri colour tourmaline
BI AND TRI COLOUR TOURMALINES
Many tourmalines consist of several colours. The most
well know of these is watermelon tourmaline. This crystal
has a pink centre and a green rim, therefore it looks like a
watermelon in cross section. The variation of colour combinations
is great and and some crystal has a particular colour while others
just have a tonal difference that creates a more subtle effect.
Multi coloured tourmalines are specifically cut to show off the colour
combination, usually using a step cut or baguette cut. The greater the
colour contrast and cleaner the stone, the greater value it has - a true
watermelon will reach a high price. Tourmalines are very popular
with buyers and each one is unique in the number of shades and
colours it contains. The best pink and green watermelon tourmaline
can be found in South Africa and Brazil.
Below- watermelon tourmaline crystal