December 2019 Newsletter: The Wonderful World of Tourmaline

If you are looking for a fine gemstone for a holiday gift -- or want to treat yourself to something special -- Tourmaline offers a rainbow of choices unmatched by any other gem variety.

Tourmaline has become one of the most popular of all colored gemstones. Collectors are attracted by its huge range of colors and its very good gemstone characteristics.

Tourmaline is reasonably hard (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale), and durable enough for all kinds of jewelry. High quality tourmalines have excellent transparency and clarity as well an attractive vitreous luster. It is also still a very affordable gemstone, particularly in larger sizes, since the per carat price for tourmaline doesn't increase radically with size like the prices for sapphire and ruby.

The most common Tourmaline colors are green and pink. For lovers of pink gems, there is no gemstone variety which provides as many choices as pink Tourmaline.

The range of pink hues seems limitless; indeed tourmaline is truly an education in pink and all its variations, from baby pink to coral, orange pink to strawberry and magenta. Green Tourmalines also display an enormous range, from blue-green to mint to forest green, chrome green and yellowish-green.

Some Tourmaline colors are quite rare and valuable, such as the blue Indicolite and Paraiba, the red Rubellite, the yellow Canary, and the emerald-green Chrome Tourmaline.

The Bi-Color Tourmalines are quite unique in the gems world. No other variety has such a wealth of multicolored gems. Some of these gems display distinct regions of color with well-defined boundaries; others show varying hues from different angles. Nearly every Tourmaline crystal is unique and they are truly wondrous products of nature.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Tourmaline.


Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature the 6 fine Tourmalines featured in our newsletter video. Click on any photo to view the details for the gem.

7.49 ct Red-Orange Tourmaline from Nigeria
A bright and vivid Fancy Tourmaline in an orangey pinkish-red. This is beautifully clean material that has been expertly cut and polished to produce an impressive and unique gem. A really fine piece for your colored stone collection. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

3.56 Blue-Green Tourmaline from Mozambique

3.56 ct Blue Green Tourmaline from Mozambique [SOLD]
A vivid loupe clean, Lagoon Blue-Green Tourmaline from Mozambique! This is very fine vibrant material that has been fashioned in an elegant trillion that just bursts with color. Guaranteed natural and untreated.


7.56 ct Golden Tourmaline from Nigeria
7.56 ct Golden Tourmaline from Nigeria  [SOLD]

A large Fancy Tourmaline displaying hues of gold, orange and green. This is beautiful crystal which has been expertly fashioned in an elegant square cushion. A unique gem which will make an impressive ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

2.42 ct Vibrant Blue Tourmaline from Namibia

A superb loupe clean, Vibrant Blue Tourmaline from the recent find in Nambia! This is beautiful crystal with a gorgeous saturated blue color, in an elegant cushion that will set up beautifully in your jewelry design. You will be amazed at the color of this rare Tourmaline, it will be an important addition to any gem collection. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

4.98 ct Bi-Color Tourmaline from Nigeria

A very fine Bi-Color Tourmaline from Nigeria with well-defined regions of pink and green. This is very clean crystal which has been precision cut in a long octagon with scissor-style facets on the pavilion. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

5.34 ct Fancy Pink Tourmaline from Nigeria

A stunning gemstone, fully saturated color and fine clarity, bright and fiery. This Pink Tourmaline was faceted into a beautiful octagon shaped loupe clean gem. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video


News from AJS and the Gems World


Holiday Gift Sale

Receive a 20% discount on any gem or jewelry item in our collection, Offer ends December 31st.

Use this discount code at checkout:  HPYNY19

This offer does not include Diamonds, Closeout items or Special Jewelry Promotions and cannot be combined with other discounts.


Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.


Could you explain the difference between a crystal and a gemstone? I know they are both used in alternative healing, but are they the same? WG, USA

The short answer is that gemstones are crystals (most of them anyway, there are some exceptions), but not all crystals are gemstones.

A crystal is a scientific concept that refers to a solid whose molecules or atoms are arranged in a regular repeating patterm and whose surface regularity reflects its internal symmetry. Examples of crystals range from all the types of minerals (such as quartz, gold, manganese, chromium, feldspar, etc) to familiar materials such as table salt and sugar and some transient objects like snowflakes. Glass is not a crystal since it has an amorphous structure, not even (paradoxically) crystal glassware (made from glass containing lead).

A gemstone is a normative concept, meaning it involves some judgement of value. Gemstones are usually thought of as minerals possessing qualities of beauty and durability that make them suitable for human adornment. It is true that some well-known gemstones are not minerals (and thus not crystals), including opal, amber and pearl, but the vast majority of gemstones are indeed crystals.

The healing properties of the various gemstones and crystals is a topic of enormous interest, but is best left for another time.


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All the best in gems,

Ron, May & and Rung