AZGem Gems
September, 2004
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the azgem.com website who subscribe.

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.

 

Tourmaline Gems

Tourmaline is an amazing gem. It has many unique and desirable characteristics. 

Tourmaline makes a great jewelry stone. It's hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Moh's hardness scale and other characteristics make it a durable stone to mount in jewelry.

Tourmaline occurs in relatively large sizes. Multi-carat gems are available and popular.

Tourmaline is an affordable gem. It occurs in many locations throughout the world. Notable locations include:

  • Maine and California in the US
  • Brazil
  • Sri Lanka
  • West Africa, including Nigeria, Chad, and Namibia
  • East Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, and Madagascar
  • Central Asia, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan
  • Tourmaline's relative abundance makes it affordable. Tourmaline's beauty makes it desirable.

    Tourmaline is a colorful gemstone. In fact, it's THE most colorful gem. Tourmaline occurs in more colors and color combinations than any other gem stone.

  • Red tourmaline
  • Pink tourmaline
  • Green tourmaline
  • Blue tourmaline
  • Teal tourmaline (blue-green)
  • Yellow tourmaline
  • Gold tourmaline
  • Watermelon tourmaline
  • Black tourmaline
  • Tourmaline continues to be discovered in previously unknown colors, shades, and color intensities.

    Paraiba tourmaline was discovered in 1987 in Brazil's northeastern Paraiba state.

     Paraiba tourmaline is unique due to its color intensity. These gems are  described as having vivid, electric colors. The hues range from bright blue to blue-green to intense green.

    Traces of copper give these gems their intense colors. More recently, intensely colored gems have been discovered in Nigeria. These gems also owe their color to atoms of copper.

    Until recently yellow tourmaline had been missing from the vast rainbow of tourmaline colors. Brown tourmaline that approached yellow had been available for many years... but not true yellow.

    Pure yellow tourmaline was discovered just a few short years ago.

    The place was Malawi in East Africa. The year was 2000.

    Green tourmaline is a pleasing and popular gem stone, and has been for centuries.

    Red and pink tourmaline are also very popular. Pinks can be pastel or vivid, as seen here.

    Red tourmaline that looks red under all lighting conditions is also known as rubellite (thought to come from the phrase ruby-like).

    Red tourmaline that looks pink under incandescent light is technically known as... pink tourmaline.

    Blue tourmaline is gaining in popularity. Recent discoveries are bringing gems of good color to market at very affordable prices.

    Indicolite is another name applied to blue tourmaline, usually to the darker shades.

    Black tourmaline is opaque and is often used as an upscale replacement for faceted onyx.

    Watermelon tourmaline (red center with green outer portion) and other bi-colored and tri-colored tourmalines are often used in designer jewelry pieces.

    To the gemstone trade tourmaline is known as a beautiful and diverse gem. In the gemology and mineralogy worlds it is known as a group of minerals with similar chemical composition.

    Or to quote a friend... "tourmalines form in crystals of complex aluminum-borosilicates, varying in their composition."

    Whatever your favorite color, there's very likely a tourmaline gem to please you.

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    Industry News...

    ColoredStone Magazine reports on the gem industry:

    TanzaniteOne Goes Public

    TanzaniteOne, the company that acquired the interests in the tanzanite mines formerly run by African Gem Resources Ltd. (AFGEM), began trading on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in late August.

    Zambian Miners Score in Tucson

    Eight Zambian companies sponsored by the Mining Sector Diversification Programme (MSDP) that attended the Tucson gem shows have reported significant sales and interest from buyers.

    Editors note: - We met these Zambian miners and dealers at the Tucson Shows last February, and mentioned them in our February 2004 newsletter.

    Although their exhibit space was located in an area attracting less traffic than the main halls, they were doing a very respectable amount of business.

    We enjoyed meeting and talking with them.

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    Jewelry Dealers

    The holidays are coming!

    Are you making up new pieces of jewelry to rebuild and upgrade your inventory? Now is a good time to work at this fun and vital task.

    We have hundreds of gems in a wide range of gem species, colors, and sizes.

    Most of our stock is in sizes suitable for rings, pendants, and earrings. 

    Send me an email for information on gems that interest you.

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    Jewelry Dealers Program

    Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?

    Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

    Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.

    Carolyn Doyle

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    P.O. Box 8232
    Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232