October’s Opals and Tourmalines Part II

Last week it was all opals. This week we will take a gander at luscious pink tourmalines. Tourmaline is not a single mineral in many colors but rather a group of minerals – in many colors. Pink tourmaline is, specifically, elbaite with a chemical composition that is Sodium Lithium Aluminum Boro-Silicate Hydroxide. And… it also comes in red, green, blue, orange and yellow. (with their own names even if they are, still, elbaites). Elbaites are very popular as jewelry components and specimens for they are an especially beautiful member of the tourmaline group.

Hand Faceted Pink Tourmaline Disks

Hand Faceted Pink Tourmaline Disks

Elbaites are found with micas, feldspars, quartz and other gemstones such as beryls, garnets, topaz and, of course, other tourmalines. Here in Connecticut where all these minerals are found, I have myself collected lots of tourmaline even if it generally hasn’t been the beautiful pink varieties. Actually, the tourmaline most commonly found in Connecticut is schorl, a black tourmaline with beautiful striations that run up the elongated barrel of the crystals.

Shorl, in fact, was the original name used until around the early 1700s when a Sinhalese word, turamali, (or possibly tóramalli which iapparently is carnelian) was mangled and introduced in its stead.

Finally, I want to leave you with this pretty image of a pendant I made using a faceted briolette of pink tourmaline and sterling and fine silvers.

Silver and Pink Tourmaline Pendant by Patricia C Vener

Silver and Pink Tourmaline Pendant by Patricia C Vener

1 Elbaite Amethyest Galleries’, Mineral Gallery, Amethyst Galleries’ Mineral Gallery

2. Webster’s Online Dictionary, Webster’s Online Dictionary

3. Wiktionary entry Tourmaline, Tourmaline

4 Responses to “October’s Opals and Tourmalines Part II”

  1. Marlaine Says:

    Interesting information in this post! and your pendant is lovely.

  2. Rachele Says:

    What a great post Patricia, I enjoyed it!! Beautiful Pendant!!

  3. Marsha Says:

    Wonderful info as usual Patricia. I just bought some faceted brown, gold and orange tourmaines. I thought watermelon greens and pinks were all there was, but obviously, you would not have been as surprised as I was. Gorgeous pendant as well.

  4. Patricia C Says:

    Marlaine, Rachele, thank you so much!

    Marsha, I am planning on writing more about tourmalines in the future as it is a very fascinating family of minerals. Here in Connecticut shorl, the black tourmaline, is one of the more common minerals and I have a lot of examples of the stuff… Somewhere. I, myself, am partial to the pink and red colors, of course.