October Birthstone - Tourmaline
Steven Kretchmer’s Deco earrings featuring Munsteiner’s Spirit Sun Toumailines
The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which was given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka in ancient times. This all-inclusive name indicates the inability of gem dealers at the time to differentiate tourmaline from other stones.
In 18th century literature references to this stone show it was believed to be helpful to artists, authors, actors and those in creative fields.
In the same century, a Dutch scientist claimed that a tourmaline wrapped in silk and placed against the cheek of a feverish child would induce sleep.
In Africa, tourmaline was once used as a stone to awaken one from “the dream of illusion.”
Ancient ceremonies in India included the use of the gem as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good. It would also serve to make known who or what was the cause of troubles or evil deeds.
Tourmaline was also highly valued by alchemists who, perhaps because of its pyroelectric effect, believed it to be related to the philosopher’s stone. This was said to be the substance that would grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites and change base metals to gold.
Today, tribes in Africa, Native Americans, and aboriginal groups in Australia use tourmaline as a talisman to protect against danger.
Steven Kretchmer’s “Superman” ring featuring a shield cut rubellite toumaline and tension set diamond.
Tourmaline offers those born in October a huge variety of colors to choose from.
Tourmaline is 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Important sources include Brazil, Sub-Sahara Africa, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US (San Diego County, Maine.)
Steven Kretchmer’s 2-Stone truncated helix with a mint green tourmaline and yellow sapphire.
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