Mystical Tourmalines: The Story of the Rainbow Stone

This glittering gem is what technicolour dreams are made of

Imagine cutting a slice of a rainbow and wearing it around your neck.

That is exactly what donning a tourmaline feels like. This multi-colour stone ranges from shades of red and pink to blue and green — and everything in between.

I remember the first time I set my eyes on a tourmaline necklace, it was in my mother’s closet. These beautiful stones glimmered back at me so beautifully it almost seemed dangerous. It was hard to believe something so scintillating was formed naturally.

The stunning gemstone comes in shades of delicious peach, vivid yellow, sea green, electric blue, cotton candy pink, ruby red and every variation in between.

And how does this happen? It is a result of the assimilation of aluminium boron silicate crystals. Since each crystal that makes up a tourmaline is unique, no two gems are hued similarly.

Turn Back Time

The discovery of the tourmaline goes way back. In the 1500s, a green stone was found in Brazil and confused with being an emerald. This confusion was believed to be true until the 1800s when scientists discovered and proved its distinct mineral composition.

The name is derived from the word ‘toramalli’ meaning “gemstone of the rainbow”, which comes from the Sinhalese words “tura” and “mali”, which translates into “mixed stone.”

There is a multitude of tourmaline colours each with its own trade name, a few of them are:

  • Pink and red ones are known as Rubellite
  • Blue and green variations are called Indicolite
  • Greenish blue and deep violetish blue tourmalines are known as Paraíba
  • Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the centre and green around the outside

Also, they are now widely found in Brazil, Africa, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Russia and even the United States.

Lore, Legend and Superstitions

Owing to its mystical colours, folklore speaks of the ability of the tourmaline to attract both friends and lovers, cure depression and inspire creativity. Making it a talisman for actors, artists and writers.

According to one Egyptian legend, as the stone rose from the earth’s core it passed through an entire rainbow, taking on all of its colours.

African and Australian shamans believed that tourmalines were teller stones meaning they could pinpoint problems, offer insight, and guide people in the right direction.

In various cultures, black tourmaline was believed to protect against dark magic! After all, even Niomi Campbell always has one in her purse!

Meaning and Symbolism

The tourmaline is not traditionally tied to any birth one month.

However, it is an alternative birthstone for the month of October and those who fall under the zodiac sign of Libra.

There may not be any magic in tourmalines, but one thing’s for sure, these stones are drops of heaven!


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