Tourmaline is extremely popular among collectors and is a well-known gemstone. It is the most multicolored mineral type known, occurring in virtually every color of the spectrum. Individual stones are often multicolored and are unsurpassed in their beauty. Black tourmaline is often seen in pendants and jewelry as a glossy black stone–an experience that varies greatly from viewing it in its more natural, untumbled state.
Tourmaline Gemstone: What is it?
Stone Type/Family: A member of the Tourmaline family, Silicates class
Category: Silicate mineral group
Chemical formula: (Ca,K,Na,)(Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr, Fe,V)6(BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4
Color: Most commonly black, but can range from brown, violet, green, pink, or in a dual-colored pink and green.
Crystal habit: Parallel and elongated. Acicular prisms, sometimes radiating. Massive. Scattered grains (in granite).
Crystal system: Trigonal
Fracture: Uneven, small conchoidal, brittle
Mohs scale hardness: 7Â–7.5
Luster: Vitreous, sometimes resinous
Specific gravity: 3.06 (+.20 -.06)
Polish luster: Vitreous
Optical properties: Double refractive, uniaxial negative
Refractive: index nÃ¹=1.635Â–1.675, nÃ¥=1.610Â–1.650
Birefringence: –0.018 to -0.040; typically about .020 but in dark stones it may reach .040
Pleochroism: typically moderate to strong
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