This species has the largest variety of colors of any species known to man. The most popular color is green. “Rubellite,” which can easily be mistaken for a ruby, is extraordinarily beautiful.
Like other hues, it and its counterparts come in a variety of tones and intensities. “Indicolite” is a magnificent blue and can be confused with sapphire.
It is a very hard and durable stone and will wear better than many other gemstones. It doesn’t require any unusual care.
Some of the more unusual varieties are the parti-colors. “Watermelon” has been very popular, having a green exterior, a white intermediate layer and a red center. If the crystal is sliced “cross-grain,” it will appear to be a slice of “watermelon!”
Brazil is the primary source for most tourmaline. However, the San Diego area produces a sizeable quantity of very fine stones.
Cos Altobelli is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for 60 years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness. He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser from the American Gem Society. He is the author of three appraisal books and has appeared on ABC-TV’s “Prime Time Live.” Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151.
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