Main index --- Minerals list --- Jewelry index Tourmaline
Name:Tourmaline
Derivation:From "toramalli" (Sinhalese) cornelian
Formula: Na(Mg,Fe,Li,Al,Mn)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH,F)4
Description: Tourmaline has a wide range of colours and some are shown here. Sometimes there are two colours in one crystal. The crystal in the bottom left hand corner is red in the middle and green round the outside (sometimes called "water-melon"!) The crystals are hexagonal, and can be quite long.

Tourmaline has a very complicated formula. John Ruskin (1819-1900) said "The chemistry of it is more like a medieval doctor's prescription than the making of a respectable mineral"! It makes an attractive gem stone, particularly the crystals which have two colours. You can see "striations" or lines down the sides of some of the crystals.

If you rub it, it attracts small particles, such as bits of paper or hair. This was mentioned by Pliny, the Roman author. The derivation shows that the ancients frequently got the names of stones muddled up.

Larger pictures of Tourmaline:

Tourmaline comes in a range of colours, as these crystals show.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

One crystal can have more than one colour. Red and green tourmaline is called Watermelon. The first specimen is a crystal seen end on, and the second is polished (tumbled).

Tourmaline Tourmaline

This specimen is a cluster of tourmaline, a mixture of pink and green on top and green crystals underneath.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

A polished (tumbled) specimen'

Tourmaline