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.
Share this newsletter with friends and co-workers by printing or forwarding it to them in its entirety.
Sign up for a free subscription to the AZGem Gems monthly newsletter.
Back issues of the
AZGem Gems newsletter can be accessed by clicking
Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Tourmaline Gem Colors
This month we answer
a recently received question... What kind of a gem is green elbaite?
The short answer is elbaite is one member of the tourmaline
group of minerals, but there is much more to the story.
Elbaite is named for the island of Elba, an Italian island
off the coast of Tuscany. Green tourmaline was once mined there. Until recent
times elbaite referred to only green tourmaline, although tourmaline comes
in many, many colors and shades. Now the gem industry generally refers to
tourmaline by color.
For example, here is a yellow tourmaline.
The word tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word tourmali,
which means something like "mixed stone" in English.
Tourmaline is a family of closely related minerals, but
almost all brightly colored tourmaline gem stones are elbaite. The other
members of the family are mostly drab grays, browns and black.
The best known tourmaline colors are green, pink, red, and
tourmaline crystals are green on the outside and pink in the middle. They are known as
watermelon tourmaline because of the color combination. Some of these
crystals can be cut into gems. They are then called bi-colored tourmaline.
There are a few exceptions to the practice of naming
tourmaline gems stones according to their color. The exceptions are paraiba
tourmaline, chrome tourmaline, and cats eye tourmaline.
Paraiba tourmaline is the most color intense of the
tourmaline gems. It comes in two colors... brilliant green and bright blue. When
these gems were first discovered and introduced to the gem industry around 1990, they were
labeled "electric" or "neon" because of their brilliant
The industry has slowly settled on the name Paraiba
because the material came from the Brazilian state of Paraiba. The intense colors are
caused by naturally occurring copper and gold in the gems.
More recently, similar but slightly less brilliant
tourmaline has been found in the west African country of Nigeria. These two occurrences
plus the shapes
of South America and Africa offer support for the Theory of Continental
Chrome tourmaline is a rich green color, closely
resembling emerald. These gems contain chromium, which gives rise to the
name. In some of the more recent finds, the same rich green color is produced by
vanadium rather than chromium. These vanadium-containing stones are still
called chrome tourmaline.
Chrome tourmaline comes from a few African countries,
primarily Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia.
eye tourmaline is a gem with parallel microscopic inclusions that
reflect light, producing the cats eye effect.
The principle commercial sources for
tourmaline are Brazil, Sri Lanka, the U.S. (Maine and California), Burma,
Madagascar, Tanzania, and Afghanistan. The pink tourmaline shown here was mined
A Google search for the key word phrase
watermelon tourmaline returns a number of interesting resources. Don't overlook the ads down the right
side of the page. Those are resources too.
Total online holiday sales will jingle to the tune of more
than $19 billion this year, according to that report from comScore
Network, a consumer research firm..
Online consumer spending is expected to rise 24
percent compared to last year’s season
earrings and birthstone
earrings are bargain priced, and make a great gift for the ladies on your
It's here! The Christmas shopping season is in full
Now is the time to serve your loyal customers and
earn new customers by selling them quality jewelry at bargain prices... while
making a tidy profit for yourself.
Don't be bashful, contact your customers and talk it up!
Tell them about the beautiful jewelry pieces you have in inventory for immediate
If they need something special, use your catalogs and
other resources listed in your Jewelry Dealer's Kit.
Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?
Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?
Take a look at our great
Want to change the e-mail address
at which you receive this newsletter?
Want to (gulp) unsubscribe?
Send an e-mail to email@example.com and let me know
what you want to do.
The AZGem Gems Newsletter is now distributed
through RSS, as well as by e-mail. Use the appropriate button below to
add the azgem.com feed to your RSS service.
Subscribe to my RSS feed
an RSS feed?
AZGem.com is the Web presence of:
The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232