Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukanov. Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia



TOURMALINE group (Turmalin—Tourmaline—“урмалин) (Garmann, 1707), a group name from Sinhalese “tourmali” – stone, for stones imported from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1703.

Composition & Properties. Silicates, subclass rings silicates, trigonal system Hardness 7-7.5. Density 2.8-3.3. Cleavage indistinct. Fragile. Glass luster. Tourmaline is transparent to non-transparent. The shape of its crystals varies from short columnar to long columnar and needles. Their length is usually not more than 20 cm, but sometimes it reaches 5 m. Not rarely they form radial-rayed aggregates – tourmaline sun, irregular fibrous aggregates tourmaline asbestos or solid grained masses. According the composition, in mineralogy there are following varieties tourmalines: buergerite, chromdravite, dravite, elbaite, liddicoatite, olenite, schorl, uvite, which form isomorphic rows between them. Further the most widespread varieties are described: elbaite, dravite, schorl and buergerite. According the color the following varieties are classified: colorless – achroite, red tourmaline or pink tourmaline – rubellite, yellow – tsilaisite, green – verdelite and chromolite, blue – indicolite, thick blue, almost black – aphrizite, and black – schorl. Often there is obvious zonal distribution of color; polychromatic crystals are not rare; there can be up to 5 color zones in them. On Madagascar, they observe segments of lilac color in tourmaline. Color sectors can be oriented along crystals or perpendicular to the main axis. A sample of the first type is watermelon tourmaline, or watermelon head, when in basal slabs pink color of the center comes into green to the periphery. In the second case we can see crystals with black or red tips – moor’s head, or Turk’s head. The typical feature of colored tourmalines is dichroism – the difference in hue and intensity of color in two opposite directions. And the intensity of color is less along the main axis, than along the short axis. That’s why in the process of faceting of thick colored crystals a table facet should be oriented in parallel with the main axis, and for pale colored crystals a table facet should be perpendicular to the main axis. In red tourmaline pleochroism is displayed from dark red to yellow and to scarlet. Tourmaline with the alexandrite effect – olive-green in the daylight and brownish-red in the artificial light – is called chameleonite. Tourmaline displays the effect of cat’s-eye in cabochons; if there are parallel-oriented inclusions of fibrous minerals or fine long channels – it is called tourmaline cat’s-eye. This effect is seen in the best way in green and pink varieties. Inclusions of tourmaline crystals into other gemstones are of ornamental interest. So, in crystals of quartz tourmaline needles form hair stone – Thetis hair stone and landscape quartzes. Numerous micro inclusions of indicolite produce the color of blue quartz. Agreat amount of such inclusions in veined quartz, or tourmaline quartz make it an ornamental stone.

Among the other properties of tourmaline we should mention asymmetric shape of opposite ends of its crystals, so called hemimorphism. It produces its piezoand pyroelectric properties. Electricity, which appears under heating, friction, pressing and pulling of crystals, and following forming of different electric charges at the opposite ends of crystals are the reasons of their ability to attract light objects. Sailors found it long ago, that’s why they used needle crystals of tourmaline for cleaning their smoking tubes, which were usually made of meerschaum (sepiolite), and it collected static electricity. That’s why tourmaline was called Ceylon magnet or ash magnet, Germ. called it aschenstone, aschenbroken, which meant “ashbrocker” and Dutchmen called it aschentrecker, which meant “ash-attractor,” as tourmaline was used for cleaning tobacco-pipe.

Synonyms. Transparent basalt. | Iochroite | Electric lapis | Noble tourmaline.

Elbaite (Elbait—Elbaïte—Ёльбаит) (Vernadski, V.I. 1913), after the discovery location on the Elba Is., Tuscany, Italy. Composition – (Na,Ca)(Al,Li)3Al6[(F,OH)|(OH)3|(BO3)3|Si6O18]. It forms an isomorphic row with dravite and it is typical for it to have the largest number of color varieties, from rare colorless one to pale colored achroite; light blue with copper admixture – Paraíba apatite, pink rubellite; cherry-red because of admixture of manganese (Mn3+) siberite, which sometimes has violet hue. In dark colored varieties there is well-seen pleochroism. The most highly evaluated in jewelry is deep pink rubellite. Russian term “samotsvet” (gemstone) was used at first for rubellite, when it was discovered at the Urals in 1780. But in the evening light its color looses its beautiful tone. Other colored varieties are: green tourmaline – verdelite with admixture of iron (Fe2+) and manganese (Mn2+), blue tourmaline – indicolite with admixture of iron (Fe2+and Fe3+), brown, green, blue to black because of admixture of manganese – mangantourmaline and yellow or yellow-green tsilaisit.To elbaite its calcium-analogue liddicoatite is also classified, it forms an isomorphic row with it. It displays different tones of brown or it is polychromatic.

Synonyms. Colorless – Achroite (acroite), from Gk. “achros” – colorless | Noble aphrite.

Pink to red – Apyrit, obs. | Carbunculus | Cranberry, Amer. | Daourite, after the discovery location in the Daurskiy Ridge, Transbaikalia, Russia | Iris | Crystal lepidolite | Nerchinskiy rubellite, after the discovery location near Nerchinskiy, Transbaikalia, Russia | ~ ruby: Brazilian ~, after the discovery location in Brazil; Rocky Mountains ~, from the of San Diego Co., California, the U.S.A.; San Diego ~, after the deposit in California, the U.S.A.; Siberian ~, after the discovery location on the eastern slope of the Urals and in Transbaikalia, Russia. | ~ schorl: crimson ~, Madagascar ~, precious ~, raspberry ~, red ~. |~ tourmaline: Bordeaux ~, after the color of wine; Colorado ~, after the discovery location in Colorado, the U.S.A.; Lithium ~; Mesa Grande ~, Pala ~, and Ramona ~, after the discovery location in California, the U.S.A.; pink ~; red ~; rubellite ~; Siberian ~, Russ.

Yellow – Ceylon chrysolite (peridote), mistake, after the discovery location on Sri Lanka (form. Ceylon) | Lyncurion, Pliny the Elder | Paraíba gold tourmaline, after the discovery location in the Paraíba State, Brazil | Tsilaisite, after the Tsilaisina deposit on Madagascar.

Green – Chromolite, after chromium admixture | ~ emerald (smaragd): African ~, bastard ~, Brazilian ~, mist.; oriental ~, Persian ~, Pliny the Elder; Siberian ~, Russ. | Emeraldite | Emeralite | Esmeralda | Taltalite, after the deposit in the region of Taltal, Chile | ~ tourmaline: African ~, South African ~, aquamarine ~, Brazilian ~, chrome ~, Paraíba green ~, lithium ~, Transvaal ~, from South Africa. | Verdelite, from Lat. “verde” – green and Gk. “litos” – stone.

Light blue to blue – Aqualite, from Lat. “aqua” – water and Gk. “litos” – stone, obs. | Blue cap | Indicolite (indigolite), because of its indigo color | Salamstone, Germ. | ~ sapphire: Brazilian ~, oriental ~, Siberian ~, Russ.; Ural ~, Russ.; Viennese ~. | Sinevik, Old Russ.

Polychromatic – Chernogolovik (black head), Old Russ. | Black head | Blue head | Black Negro head | Black moor’s head | Turk’s head | Liddicoatite, after the Amer. gemologist R.T. Liddicoat | Watermelon tourmaline.

With the alexandrite effectChameleonite | Alexandrite tourmaline.

Dravite (Dravit—Dravite—ƒравит) (Tschermak, G. 1881), after the Drava River, Carinthia, Austria. Composition – (Na,Ca)Mg3Al6[(OH,F)|(OH,O)3|(BO3)3|Si6O18]. Dravite forms an isomorphic row of constant miscibility with elbaite and schorl. Color: usually dark brown because of admixtures of titanium (Ti3+and Ti4+), honey-orange, pale yellow, sometimes thick light blue – magnesio-dravite. Intermediate varieties are brown-black to black ferrodravite and dark green to emerald-green – chromdravite and mangandravite. There is also the calcium-analogue of dravite – uvite black to dark brown or green, which was called after the discovery location in the Uva Valley, Sri Lanka; it forms an isomorphic row with dravite. The color of green uvite depends on admixtures of chromium (Cr3+) and vanadium (V3+). Radial-rayed aggregates of dravite have their own name – coronite.

Synonyms. Green – Brazilian chrysolite (peridote), after the discovery location in Brazil | Ceylon chrysolite | Coronite, from Lat. “corona” – crown | Green schorl | Ceylon chrysolite tourmaline | Chrome-tourmaline, with admixture of Cr2O3 up to 10-16% | Zeuxite, from Gk. “zeuxis” – clusters, according the shape of crystals.

Brown – Andalusite | Ferroelbaite | Ferroschörlite | Gouvernerite, after the discovery location near Gouvernor, New York State, the U.S.A. | Hialophyllite | Magnesian schorl | Magnesian tourmaline | Titantourmaline, after its content.

Schorl (Schörl—Schorl—Ўерл) (Matthesius, 1524 in Wallerius, J.G., 1747). The name derives from the early Germ. mining term schrul applied by Gesner in 1565, Erker in 1595 (shurl) and Bruckmann in 1595 (schirl) to the “black, little stones” that were rejected in the washing of gold and tin ores. The name originally included many dark colored prismatic minerals; Romé de L’Isle showed shorl to be a syn. for tourmaline. Schorl forms an isomorphic row with elbaite. Composition – (Na,Ca)(Fe2+,Fe3+)3Al6[(OH,F)|-(OH,O)3|(BO3)3|Si6O18]. It is the widespread variety of black tourmaline; its color depends on admixture of iron (Fe2+), sometimes it is blue or bluish-green. Its crystals reach 20 cm. and even more in length rather often. In pegmatites schorl forms black tourmaline suns. Massive veined quartz enriched with crystals of schorl is often used as an ornamental stone. Similar is quartz-tourmaline hornstone, or tourmalite. There is known also massive tourmaline rock – tourmalinite. Commonly it is almost completely composed with schorl – schorl rock, or schorl schist. In Malaysia, there is fine-grained bluish-black tourmaline-corundum rock of ornamental quality.

Synonyms. Africita, Span., obs. | Aphrizite (aphrite), from Gk. “aphriso” – make foam, obs. | Stone jet | Pierrepontite after the discovery location near Pierrepont, New York State, the U.S.A. | Black schorl | Electric schorl | Shorl | Stangenschörl, Germ. | Jetty stone | Ferro tourmaline | Ferrous tourmaline | Turpelin, Old Russ.

Buergerite (Buergerit—Buergerite—Ѕюргерит) (Donnay, G. et al. 1966), after Martin Julian Buerger (1903-1986), an eminent crystallographer and Professor of Mineralogy, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, U.S.A. Composition – (Na,Ca)(Fe3+,Fe2+)3Al6[(F,OH)|(O,OH)3|(BO3)3|Si6O18]. Buergerite forms an isomorphic row with schorl. It is dark brownish to black. It is characterized with bronze luster or chatoyancy on the surface of crystals. This variety includes: green vanadium tourmaline, chrome-tourmaline and light bluish-green to emerald-green Paraíba tourmaline, which color depends on admixture of copper and manganese; and also very rare colorless to pale pink aluminum analogue of buergerite – olenite, which was called after the discovery location in Olen’i Tundry on the Kola Penin., Russia.

Synonyms. Brown – Andalusite, mistake | Karchedoniya, Pliny the Elder | Brown schorl | Andalusia stone | Brown tourmaline | Trip (tripstein, Germ.).

Blue – Chameleonite, syn. deuterolite, Obs. | Ciamita (chiamita), Span. | Blue schorl | Precious schorl | Aquamarine tourmaline | Blue tourmaline | Paraíba neon tourmaline.

Deposits. Tourmaline is formed mainly in pegmatites, in the process of contact metasomatism and metamorphism. It is extracted in significant volume at placers. The largest deposits of gem-quality tourmaline are exploited in Brazil, the U.S.A., on the Madagascar Is., in Afghanistan and in some countries of Africa. In Russia the first findings of tourmaline in the Urals were made in the end of the 18th cent.. In 1787, in the Middle Urals at the Sarapulka mine were discovered with famous siberite, or Sarapulka tourmaline of cherry-red color with violet hue. In 1810-1815, at the Mora mine, near Shaytanka village, were exploited with red, pink, bluish-violet, yellow, dark-brownish and brown-green elbaite, also polychromatic tourmaline and quartz hair stone – rock crystal with inclusions of schorl were found there. In 1880-1890, the Murzinka mines were discovered with blue-green elbaite and schorl, as well as the Yuzjakova mine with rubellite. In 1882, near the village of Shabry, near the Berezovskiy mine they discovered tourmalines with the content of Cr2O3 more than 10%. They displayed the alexandrite effect. In 1889-1900, they discovered the mines Lipovka with achroite, cherry-red rubellite, olive-green elbaite and polychromatic tourmaline, up to 6x4 cm. in size. At the Kamennskaya mine, near Lower-Isetskaya Dacha they extracted dark brownish crystals of dravite, up to 15 cm. long, and chrometourmaline. Chrome-tourmaline was found also at the deposits Shabry and Berezovskiy. In 1980-s, the works were reopened at the tourmaline mines Lipovka, Mokrusha and Shaytanka. Near the city of Pervoural’sk, at the Pervoural’skoye deposit veined quartz wooden-shaped asbestos tourmaline with the length of fibers up to 20 cm. was found. In the South Urals, in transparent granulated quartz of the Kyshtym deposit there are wonderful inclusions of needle tourmaline. Such veined quartz was used as an ornamental stone. At the Karabashskie mines they found blue-white asbestos tourmaline (dravite) with the length of fibers up to 15 cm. In the Subpolar Urals Mts., at the rock crystal Pyramid deposit, and at other deposits they extracted landscape quartz with inclusions of tourmaline and sericite additional material, as well as tourmaline quartz hair stone. In Transbaikalia, the first findings of tourmaline are dated to 1830. In the western part of the Borshchovochnyi Kryazh, at the Zavitinskoye pegmatite field, near the mouth of the Onon River, they began to work in 1833. In 1847, on the Urul’ga River, they extracted achroite, raspberry-red elbaite–daurite, rubellite, verdelite, blue indicolite and polychromatic tourmaline with the size of crystals up to 40x15 cm. There were also radial-rayed aggregates of tourmaline – tourmaline sun, dark green near the base and tender pink on the tips. At the same region, along the Urguchan River, near the Savvateeva village they found green, pink and polychromatic tourmaline in 1847-1912; and near Nerchinskiy Zavod – Nerchinskiy rubellite and tsilaisite. The Savvatievskoye deposit was exploited intensively in 1930-s; they extracted their polychromatic tourmaline and rock crystal, aquamarine and vorobeyevite were extracted as additional material. Now, at the Zavitinskoye pegmatite field, the most perspective for tourmaline is the Polymineral vein, 140 m. long. In the early of the 19th cent., in South Transbaikalia tourmaline was extracted in the Schorlova Gora; and in 1847 – in the Soktui Ridge and at the Adun-Chilon deposit. In the end of 1980-s, in the western part of Central Transbaikalia, in the region of the Malkhan Ridge, on the square of 300 sq. km., they discovered 300 pegmatite veins, including 40 ones with colored tourmaline. In oligoclase pegmatites they find polychromatic tourmalines, red, yellow, green, honey tourmalines and tourmaline cat’s-eye. Tourmaline displays prolonged and concentric distribution of color. The average size of these crystals is 5x2 cm.; the biggest crystal of polychromatic tourmaline reached 47x20 cm. weight 7,7 kg. Tourmalines belong to schorl-elbaite and schorl-dravite isomorphic rows. In the same years, to the southwest from the Malkhan Ridge a pegmatite field where was discovered Vodorazdel’noye deposit, which was perspective for extraction of tourmaline. In miarolitic cavities of pegmatites pink vorobeyevite dominates together with accompanying polychromatic tourmaline and green tourmaline. In East Siberia, in the region of Bodaibo, at the Mamskoye pegmatite deposit findings of crystals of schorl were not rare. In 1986, on the Kola Penin., in the Olen’i Tundry a rare variety of pale pink tourmaline was found – olenite. It is represented with small crystals and radial aggregates, not more than 1.5 cm. in size. In Karelia, in the region of the railway station of Chupa, in mica pegmatites crystals of schorl, up to 15 cm. long, were found. In the Zaonezhskiy Penin. in the Velikaya Guba chromedravite was found.

In East Kazakhstan there are small deposits of tourmaline: Asubulak and Ungursai, near Ust’-Kamenogorsk, with verdelite, rubellite and polychromatic tourmaline. There are also numerous quartz veins, enriched with needle tourmaline and its aggregates in the shape of tourmaline suns. In Central Kazakhstan, near Balkhash Lake, at the chrysoprase deposit Saryku Boldy they found grass green chromium-aluminum dravite. In Kyrgyzstan, in the Turkestan Range, there is the schorl deposit Kyrk-Bulak. Colored tourmalines are found at the Inylcheskiy and Turkestan Ranges, at the deposits Terek-Ovinskoye, Karasu-Karavshinskoye and Sukhodol’skoye. In Uzbekistan, rubellite is found in pegmatites of the Nauka deposit, to the south from Jizzakh, at border with Tadzhikistan. In Tadzhikistan, in the region of the deposit Kukh-I-lal, South-western Pamirs Mts., in miarolitic cavity of oligoclase pegmatites they found crystals of dravite, up to 35x4 cm. Among them there were transparent crystals of different colors: light yellow, brown, bottle green, light blue and colorless. In the end of 1980-s, at the same deposit at the Museynaya vein they extracted green dravite, up to 18 cm. long, and on the Gondarv River – green uvite in crystals up to 3 cm. In the Eastern Pamirs Mts. they began to exploit the Rang-Kul’ pegmatite field, Murghob Dist., near Rang-Kul’ Lake. From the vein Mika they extracted polychromatic tourmaline in the basis brown, it yellow-green, up to rose-red at top in crystals up to 11x4 cm., and also green and pink tourmaline cat’s-eye. In other veins of the Rang-Kul’ Lake pegmatite field the size of the biggest crystals reached: for polychromatic tourmaline – 17x10 cm., weight of 2.5 kg.; for schorl – 30x10 cm.; for rubellite – 10x4 cm. with transparent segments 4x1 cm. In the same region, at the Kukurt deposit, in pegmatites of the Kukurt River Valley, and in the Dostar Mt., there is significant amount of schorl, up to 10 cm. long, which is available for cabochon cutting.

In Europe, classical deposits of elbaite are situated in Italy, on the Elba Is., where colorless, red and yellow crystals, also crystals with black tips, so-called Negro head, were found. In Switzerland, at the deposits Madona, Val Bedertto, they found honey-brown tourmaline, also schorl and green tourmaline at the Campolungo deposit, near St Gotthard Pass., Ticino canton. In South Norway, up to 5 m. crystals of buergerite and schorl at the Arendal deposit, Aust-Adger, they found. In Sweden, verdelite is known at the deposit Varuträsk, Västerbotten; schorl in crystals up to 3x1m. at the Godegård, Östergötland; and indicolite at the Utö Is., was found. In Slovenia, near the Austrian border, they found Dravograd locality, near Dragowar, with brown crystals of dravite up to 20 cm. In Romania, in pegmatites of the Teregova deposit and others they found black schorl crystals, up to 30 cm. long. In Czech Rep. crystals up to 50x80 cm. occur at Písek, Bohemia (historical region); and to 50x40 cm. at Dolní Bory, Moravia. In Mozambique, tourmaline deposits in pegmatites are concentrated in the Alto Ligonha region, which takes the place of 300 sq. km. The Muiane deposit, near Gilé, is typical there. Transparent elbaite of different colors and polychromatic tourmalines – greenish-blue, brown, verdelite in crystals up to 13x4 cm., pink and red rubellites up to 40x8 cm., and also watermelon tourmaline and tourmaline cat’s-eye, are coming from this region. Sometimes these tourmalines display partly dissolved pattern of color zones and at the same time their central part stays transparent and has yellowish-brown, brown or green color. Such crystals have the trade name tourmaline ox-eye. For the deposits of this region the biggest size of tourmalines are usually 50 cm. long, and the weight up to 20 kg. Beside tourmaline, they extracted colored varieties of beryl there – aquamarine, goshenite, morganite; manganotantalite, monazite, lepidolite. In Zimbabwe, they extract perfect in quality but small emerald-green crystals of uvite and dravite. In the eastern part of Zambia, at the Lundazi deposit is exploited with greenish-brown tourmaline, which receives beautiful pink color after annealing. In south-east, at the Chipata deposit there are polychromatic tourmalines with yellow tsilaisit and watermelon tourmaline; and near the Mozambique border, in pegmatites – green, violet and red rubellites. Recent years, in the central part of the country, to the north from Lusaka, they discovered the pegmatite in deposit Djagoda. Beside green, yellow and pink tourmalines, there is gem-quality aquamarine there. In Tanzania they discovered several deposits in the regions of Tunduru and Songea, where brown and yellow-green dravites were extracted, and at the Landanai deposit – chromium-containing uvite, at the Lelatema Hills deposit – emerald-green vanadium tourmaline with the effect of cat’s-eye and with the alexandrite effect. At the placers along the Umba River vanadium-chromium-containing tourmaline was found. In 1978, in Kenya, to the south from Taita Hills, near the Tanzanian border, in the area of Woi Tawet and Naroka they found pegmatites with golden-orange tourmalines from the isomorphic row dravite-uvite, and at the Ozarara deposit – dark red dravite. In Nigeria, pink, purple-red and yellowish-green elbaite at the Kaffi deposit is found. In Algeria, tourmaline is represented mainly with green dravite, which is sent to the market as “emerald”. Recently, tourmaline deposits were discovered in North-Eastern Africa, in Somalia, where they found watermelon tourmaline.

In the early 20th cent., in south-western Africa, in Namibia, at the Spitzkopje deposit, near Otavi, unusual blue tourmaline they found, and in the region of Usakosa and at the Neuschwaben they found gem-quality green chrome-tourmaline and elbaite. Light bluish-green African tourmaline and indicolite are coming from the same places. At the Otjimbingwe mine they extract red and olive-green tourmalines, and at mines of the region of Karibiba – polychromatic and watermelon tourmalines; from the Kubas mine yellowish-green, pink and red tourmalines are coming, from the Alberchtstoke deposit – emerald-green ones, from the Brandberg-Tourmaline mine dark red, dark green and yellowish-green and also colorless tourmalines are coming. On Madagascar, have been known tourmalines since the beginning of the colonization of the island by France (1888). The main group of its deposits was discovered near Antsirabé, 60 km. to the south-west from the capital Antananarivo, at the pegmatite field Sahatany. Golden-yellow, red and polychromatic tourmalines, linked in their content with liddicoatite were extracted there. It is so called Madagascar schorl, sometimes up to 50 cm. long. In the southern part of the Sahatany field, in rare-metal lepidolite pegmatites they find transparent light brown, brown and light green crystals of dravite. Together with tourmaline they extracted spessartine there. At the Antaboaka deposit, near Mandrarivo village, they found gem-quality wine-red tourmalines, and near Vinanakarena – rubellites in association with morganite. In 1894, the Anjanabonoina deposit was discovered with rubellite and polychromatic elbaite, which has the cross-section of crystals up to 18 cm. These pegmatites have been being extracted with some pauses since 1911 till nowadays. They find crystals of lilac liddicoatite up to 25 cm. and green tourmaline up to 30 cm. long there; and at the Maharitra a crystal of rubellite, 29 cm. long, was found. In pegmatites near Betafo they find transparent indicolite in crystals up to 25x10 cm. A doubleterminated rubellite sized 37x9 cm. was found at Kinankaraka; and red, yellow and yellow-green tsilaisite occurs at Tsilaisina, near Antsirabé. At gem-stones exhibitions of Madagascar they expose usually slabs of polychromatic tourmaline up to 20 cm. in cross-section with concentric-zonal coloring – from black to green on the periphery through brown and to pink in the center.

In Western Australia, golden-brown dravite in crystals up to 15 cm. long, up to 15.5 kg. weight at the Soklich mine, Yinniethara Dist., they extract. The biggest crystal was 60x23 cm. in size. There also massive schorl-dravite rock – ornamental stone warrierite was found. Besides, blue-green and brown-green gem-quality tourmaline at the Spargoville deposit, near Coolgardie, they extracted. In that region from pegmatites they extracted high quality rubellite, up to 120 ct. Near Ravensthorpe there is a deposit of transparent, zonal colored pink and green tourmalines. In South Australia, on the Kangaroo Is. there is the Dadli elbaite deposit as well as others. On Sri Lanka, in the region of Uva they extract indicolite, liddicoatite and brown uvite from placers, near Ratnapura – achroite and dravite, which was named as Ceylon peridote; also transparent yellow and red tourmalines near Matale was found. In Myanmar, gem-quality red and pink elbaite in crystals up to 15 cm. was extracted at placers of the Ava in the region of Mogok; also large vanadium-bearing crystals at the Has-taw, Kayah State. In China, at Mongolian Alatau, Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomos Region, they extract greenish-blue magnesio-dravite with the effect of cat’s-eye from pegmatites, and more rare – light blue and polychromatic tourmaline. In 1934, in the eastern part of Nepal they discovered two large deposits – Fakuva and Hyakule, Sankhuwa-Sabha Dist., where they found tourmalines of bright grass green and yellowish-amber color. When there is admixture of manganese in them, they are pink, lemon yellow and polychromatic, including watermelon tourmalines, up to 20 cm. long. Besides, at the Jãjarkot deposit in pegmatites there were findings of green dravite up to 5 cm. In the west of Nepal, near Surkhet, from a deposit in marbles they extract yellowish-brown tourmalines, and, in the east of Nepal, in Sankhuwa locality – dark brown elbaite. In Vietnam, near Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai Prov., they extracted green tourmaline in crystals up to 20 cm. long. In Japan, in the region of Ishikava, Fukushima Pref., they found crystals of schorl, up to 4 m. long. In India, at the Nanga Parbat deposit, near Gilgit, Jammu and Kashmir State (disputed area), they extract green elbaite and polychromatic tourmaline in crystals up to 6 cm. long, and sometimes even more. In the Orissa State they extract emerald-green chrome-tourmaline; in the Rajasthan State, near Ajmer – rubellite. In Afghanistan, tourmaline deposits were exploited in the north-east of the country, in Nuristan. There, in the Kunar River Valley there are 10 deposits of pegmatites with gem-quality tourmaline. In the Laghman Prov., at the Kulam deposit, which was discovered in 1970, crystals of tourmaline are small, short columnar, up to 2x3.5 cm. They are colorless, pink, green, light blue and polychromatic – watermelon tourmalines. At the deposits Koorgal and larger Daray Pich, in the Digalv River Valley, 60 km. to the north-east from Jelalabad, they found crystals grass-green verdelite to indigolites up to 20x5 cm. in size, and watermelon tourmaline up to 40x15 cm.; and at the Kantiva deposit – thick blue. In the Laghman Prov., at the deposits Paprok and Pêch they extracted green elbaite, up to 22x3.5 cm. in size.

Brazil supplies some 80% tourmalines for the world market. In Minas Gerais there are main tourmaline deposits, usually elbaite in pegmatites. They are situated in the Governador Valadares Dist. – Golconda, Cruzeiro, Santa Rose, Jonas, Tacuaral, Córrego do Urucum; in the Itatiaiha area – the Conselheiro Pena mine, and also in the basin of the Jequitinhonha River; in the Araçuai area – Salinas, Virgem da Lapa, Oro Fino. At the Itatiaiha deposit they found the biggest transparent crystal of rubellite, 1.6x0.2 m. in size with the base 0.4 m. wide. In 1915, at the Cruzeiro deposit they extracted pinks to red rubellite, which radial-rayed aggregates reached the size of 25x15x15 cm. In 1970, they found perfect polychromatic tourmalines there: green ones with black tips and pink ones with green – watermelon tourmaline, chromolites and indigolites, up to 10 cm. long and more, including those with the effect of cat’s-eye. At the Córrego do Urucum deposit there were findings of crystals of black elbaite with zonal coloring, up to 1 m. long. At the Urubu deposit crystals of green elbaite reached 20 cm. in length. In 1978, at the Jonas mine, in pegmatite they opened a unique cavity, 3x2 m. in size, with gem-quality rubellite. More than 4 ton of crystals were extracted from it; the biggest one was 109 cm. long and 20 cm. wide. In the region of Itambakuri at the Santa Rose deposit they found crystals of watermelon tourmaline, up to 25x10 cm., the best of all were polychromatic basal slabs made from them; and at the Golconda mine they were rubellite, polychromatic tourmaline, green tourmaline suns, 27x10 cm. in size, and schorl, 30x15x10 cm. At the Virgem da Lapa deposit they found transparent indicolite up to 10 cm. long; and at the Oro Fino mine – the best rubellite, at Barro de Salina – transparent polychromatic tourmaline. There is also dark green, yellowish and brown tourmaline – Todo moonstone, and at the Morro Redondo deposit – indicolite and watermelon tourmaline. In the Bahia State, at the Jaqueto mine they found schorl 24 kg.; and at the Brumado mine – noble uvite of green color. In 1906, on the Veríssimo River they found a crystal of brown gouvernerite 600 ct., and a cut stone made from it was 80 ct. Since 1980, in the Paraíba State, at the São José da Batalhya mine and others greenish-blue, sometimes polychromatic Paraíba tourmaline has been being extracted, but mainly in fragments of crystals up to 10 gm. Its color varies in blue-green, red and violet tones from light bluish-green, almost emerald, to turquoise-blue and blue-violet, and also amethyst-violet and red ones. It depends on admixtures of copper (Cu2+), manganese (Mn3+), iron (Fe2+), titanium (Ti4+), after annealing it becomes bright light blue or bluish-green like the color of dioptase. The similar tourmaline was discovered later 40 km. from this deposit in the Rio Grande do Norte State. In the Rio de Janeiro State, at the São Gonsalo mine they extract green verdelite. In Mexico, in the states of San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas there are small deposits of buergerite in rhyolites; and in the Sonora State, at the Santa Cruz deposit they extracted dravite in crystals up to 30 cm. long.

In the U.S.A. California, and Maine, New England, there are two largest regions of pegmatite fields with tourmaline. In 1902, in California, San Diego Co., in the pegmatite field Mesa Grande, they opened the Himalaya mine. Large rubellite crystals found there were called Chinese tourmaline, because they were sold in China for stone-carving those years. After the downfall of the Chinese empire in 1912, the volume of extraction of rubellite became lower, because it was not in high demand – there were few faceted stones available from that material. In 1959, works at Himalaya mine were reopened. They extracted light blue-green, green, yellow and pink crystals of elbaite there, colored mainly near the tips, and also polychromatic tourmalines with 5 hues. The average size of crystals was 15x5 cm., max. – 40x7.5 cm.; later they found small long-columnar “pencils”. In 1904, they discovered the pegmatite field Pala, where elbaite was extracted at the deposits Catarina, Stuart, Tourmaline Queen mine, Pala Chief mine and others. Some of them are still at work. The largest quantity of polychromatic tourmaline and rubellite in crystals up to 30x8 cm. were extracted there, cut stones up to 75 ct. were made from this material. And at the Catarina mine they found crystals of quartz, which were blue because of inclusions of elbaite. At the Little Cahuil Mt. deposit they have been extracting schorl from pegmatites for more than 100 years. In Maine State the first Mt. Maika deposit was opened in 1820. Green tourmalines with hue from olive-green to grass green and light bluish-green dominated there. In 1895, they extracted a transparent green crystal with the weight of 422 ct. there. The biggest crystal of verdelite was 24x5 cm. in size. From tourmalines of this deposit they received faceted stones up to 69.25 ct. At the Ramford deposit they found crystals of blue tourmaline up to 20 cm. long. In 1972, at the Dunton Quarry, near Newry they opened a cavity 6x2 m. in size with big crystals elbaite, from which faceted stones up to 100 ct. were made. The biggest crystal was 27x10 cm. there. Now it is exhibited in the AMNH, N.Y. In less quantity gem-quality tourmalines were found in other states, too. In Massachusetts, at the Chesterfield deposit they extract rubellite, and near Goshen – rare indicolite. In the New York State at the Gouverneur deposit, St Lawrence Co., black crystals dravite up to 6 cm.; also red manganese variety uvite at the Arnold mine was found. In New Jersey, green crystals uvite up to 10 cm. at Franklin, at McAffe, and at Hamburg, all Sussex Co. were found. In Canada it is known on aWilberforce tourmaline deposit, Ontario. In Mexico crystals dravite up to 30 cm. at the Santa Cruz mine, Sonora, were extracted.

Unique Crystalss. The biggest tourmaline crystals of gem-quality were found in Brazil. In 1978, in the Minas Gerais State, at the Itatiaia mine a large miarolitic cavity was discovered in pegmatite; a cluster of rubellite crystals was taken out of it, about 4 ton. The biggest crystal was 100x40 cm. in size and it was evaluated in $1 million. Another transparent two-headed crystal, 10x1.5 cm. in size, was sold for $1500. At the Joäo Pinto mine two more unique samples were taken from the cavity. One of them was a cluster of crystals of white cleavelandite, which framed a perfectly formed red crystal of rubellite, 25x11 cm. in size. This sample had the weight of 27 kg. and the size of 43x33 cm.; it was called “Flower of Brazil”. The second sample was a crystal of verdelite, 106x20 cm. in size, which was called “Rocket” and it was sold for $2 million. There was also found the transparent crystal of verdelite, 2.4 kg. and 33x7 cm. in size. In Mozambique, at the Muyana deposit they found a beautiful rubellite, 42 cm. long. It was exhibited there in the Museum Faire de Andrade in Lorenco Marquish. In 1969, in the U.S.A., in the pegmatite field Pala in California they found a druse of rubellite crystals, 32x27 cm. in size, which was kept in the Smiths. Inst., Wash. In Connecticut verdelite was found, 27x10 cm. in size, which was called “Merry Green Giant”. It is kept in the AMNH, N.Y. In the Mining Museum, SPb. a druse of rubellite is exhibited. It is 4.8 kg. weight. It was found at the Borshchovochnyi Kryazh in Transbaikalia, Russia.

Quality improvement. Dark green tourmalines from Namibia are improved with thermal processing – burnt tourmaline. After the annealing under the temperature of 650°C they received emerald-green tone. Pink stones can loose their color, brown-red and colorless ones become bright pink. Indicolite becomes emerald-green after annealing; the same method is used to receive blue tourmaline. Under gamma-irradiation tourmaline with admixture of manganese strengthen its yellow and pink color, and after the following annealing less than 500°C pink color disappears, and yellow one is kept. Admixtures of iron and titanium under irradiation give blue, green and brown tones; stone can become polychromatic pink-green. However, irradiation often doesn’t bring changing of the color of crystals. Smoky tourmalines are used in such way: artificial cracks are made in them and then filled with colored resin.

Famous Gems & Jewels. In Portugal, where they have brought green tourmaline to since 1572, after the discovery of America, in was improperly called Brazilian emerald. In Europe tourmaline was classified as a separate mineral only after it was brought from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1703. However, in the Mediterranean countries and in Russia tourmaline was used as a gem-quality gemstone much earlier – taking it for other gemstones. Tourmaline, as well as amethyst, was a ritual stone for Christians, and was used for decoration of icons, church utensils and priests’ clothes. In the collection of the Armory Museum Kreml., Moscow tourmaline is in the frames of the icons of Cyril of the Beloozero and Our Lady Hodegitria, made by Russian masters of the 15th cent., and also in a Byzanthium panagia (medallion) and a gold Eucharistic bowl of the 16th cent. Scarlet rubellite decorates the Tsar’s crown of Mikhail Romanov. Tourmaline about 500 ct., was inset in the crown of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna in 1730. One of the unique stones of the D.F.R., Moscow is the “Great Ruby” – a stone of thick raspberry-red color, which looks like a big berry, and in reality it is also a tourmaline. Its size is 4x2.7x2.3 cm. and the weight is 255.75 ct. It was gifted to the Russian Empress Catherine the Great by the Swedish King Gustav III in 1777. Swedes took it in Prague in 1648, from the treasury of the Bohemian King Rudolph II, where this stone was known as the “Ruby of Caesar.”

During faceting it is necessary to remember that the color would be the brightest if the table facet is parallel to the vertical axis of a crystal. Stones faceted in such way are obviously changing their color when turning around. Transparent crystals of tourmaline are faceted in brilliant-cut, step-cut, rose-cut, and mixed-cut. Half-transparent crystals are cut in cabochons. In the Urals tourmalines were used in stone carving to make berries and fruits for press-paper or for stone compositions on boxes. Agreat collection of unique cut tourmalines is in the Smiths. Inst., Wash. The best represented there tourmalines from Brazil are: among them the pink stone, 62.4 car, the blue-green one, 60 ct., the yellow tourmaline, 41.7 ct., the indicolite, 25.5 ct. and the green tourmaline cat’s-eye, 76 ct. There is also a stone from Russia – the Manchurian rubellite, 110.8 ct., from Sri Lanka – the brown tourmaline, 41.6 ct., from the Elba Is. – yellowish-green one, 17.7 ct. Besides, there are big faceted tourmalines from the Muiane deposit in Mozambique: 172.7 ct. – light-yellow; 125 ct., 122.9 ct. – green; 103.8 ct. – pink. From a crystal extracted in Mozambique they facet the biggest tourmaline 1250 ct. In the D.F.R., Moscow there is the unique rubellite 255 ct., presumably from Burma (now Myanmar). In the U.S.A., at the Danton quarry, Maine, they found a crystal of green elbaite, 20.3 cm. long; a unique stone was faceted from it – with the weight of 411 ct. From crystals extracted at that deposit faceted stones, 256 and 584 ct. were also made. The gold monstrance from the sacristy of the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, which was made in the Kremlin workshops in the second half of the 17th cent., was richly decorated with gemstones and crowned with a pink tourmaline, 645 ct.

Legends. Tourmaline was treated as a talisman of love and hope; it saves youth and strength for its owner. Pink tourmaline is a talisman of artists, which gives them creativity and inspiration. Green tourmaline strengthens nerves and makes its owner calm and quiet; it is good till 35-years age only. Black tourmaline neutralizes negative emotions – anger, offence. Polychromatic tourmaline displays inner beauty of a person, makes problems easier; it gives the sense of humor to those, who are too serious. Astrologers take tourmaline for a lucky stone for those, who were born under the signs of Scorpio and Cancer. Tourmaline (green) is regard as a national symbol of Brazil and in the U.S.A. green and watermelon tourmaline – of Maine State.

Synthesis. Synthetic tourmaline has been received with the hydrothermal method since the early of 1960-s, mainly because of its piezoelectric properties. However, these crystals are very small. They work out the synthesis of colorless manganese, magnesium, lithium tourmalines, and also differently colored iron, cobalt, nickel and chromium tourmalines. These bright colored crystals can be used in jewelry.

Similar Gemstones & Imitations. Different colored noble tourmalines look like many other gemstones: amethyst, andalusite, vesuvianite, hiddenite, demantoid, emerald, prasiolite, ruby, sapphire, topaz, chrysoberyl, chrysolite, citrine, spinel and zircon,. To imitate tourmaline they use glass, synthetic corundum, synthetic spinel and phianite (cubic zirconia).