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Green Tourmaline Gems
Tourmaline is famous for its excellent transparency, vitreous luster and, most of all, its enormous range of colors. Though tourmaline can be found in virtually every color in the spectrum, the most common hues are pink and, especially, green.
Though green is the most typical color in tourmaline, the color variation is vast, ranging from sea green to apple green, mint green, forest green and avocado. A medium forest green is the most common hue, but there are some shades of green tourmaline which are quite uncommon and valuable. These include a a saturated chrome green, unusual bi-colors, rare teal or blue-green, and an intense neon green.
The more common green tourmalines can be very attractive, with a bright open color. They can also be found in larger sizes, with fine stones over 8 carats not uncommon.
|Fine Green Tourmalines from Nigeria|
The most saturated green tourmaline is the rare Chrome Tourmaline from East Africa. It is distinguished from the more ordinary green tourmaline by its deep color and its chromium content. The color of chrome tourmaline is so intense that high quality stones are generally found only in smaller sizes. Chrome tourmalines over 2 carats tend to be dark and overcolored, and larger specimens with an open color are especially rare and valuable.
|Chrome Tourmaline||Bi-Color Tourmaline|
Bi-colored and multicolored crystals occur frequently in tourmaline, more than in any other gem. This lovely accident of nature is due to variations of fluid chemistry during crystallization. Green and red are often found together in bi-color stones, but yellow, orange and pink are also common.
Blue-green is a rare color in tourmaline, with pure blue exceptionally rare. Known as indicolite, most specimens will have some green secondary hue with a teal color the most typical. The purer blues will tend to be found only in small sizes, often under 1 carat. Larger stones will tend to have a stronger green component. Blue-green bi-colors are also found.
The rarest of all tourmalines is the copper-bearing paraiba found in Brazil and Mozambique. Though the neon blue is the best known color for paraiba, there is a mint green mined in Mozambique that is remarkable vivid and bright. These rare stones are coveted by tourmaline collectors.
|Blue Green Tourmaline||Paraiba Tourmaline
Tourmaline is found in many locations in the world. Historically, the most important deposits were in Sri Lanka, Brazil and the USA (California and Maine). More recently, Africa has become an important source of fine tourmaline, with Nigeria the leading producer. Significant deposits are also found in Mozambique and Afghanistan.