Tourmaline Stone: History, Formation, & Metaphysical Properties

Tourmaline is a unique gemstone that forms in virtually every color in the rainbow. In fact, it occurs in more colors than any other type of mineral. It has been prized for its beauty and purported metaphysical and healing properties for centuries and remains one of the most popular crystals in both the scientific and spiritual communities.

Compared to some gemstones, such as quartz, that have been used since the dawn of time, tourmaline is a relative newcomer. It was first discovered in the late 1600s or early 1700s off the coast of Italy but has since been mined in several different places around the world. It has a very unique mineral composition that makes it an interesting material to geologists, and those in the metaphysical community regard it as a highly powerful stone that offers exceptional protective and healing properties. Whether you are interested in this gemstone from a scientific standpoint or you would like to use it for its healing properties, this blog post will teach you all you need to know about tourmaline.

Tourmaline History

A piece of a bi color tourmaline crystal.

As mentioned, tourmaline was first discovered off the western coast of Italy in either the late 1600s or late 1700s. It was found by Dutch traders, and the name is derived from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which, at the time, was the name given to all colored crystals that had been discovered on the island of Sri Lanka. This type of “all-inclusive” name illustrates the fact that gem dealers of the time were unable to distinguish tourmaline from other colored stones. At one time, in fact, red and pink varieties of tourmaline colors were believed to be rubies. While pink tourmaline is generally “pinker” than rubies, the similarities are so strong that the stones thought for centuries to be rubies in the Russian crown jewels are now believed to be tourmaline.

Though not identified until more modern times, the Chinese have used tourmaline to create carved figures and engravings since ancient times. It is also likely that this stone was used by ancient Indian and African cultures.

Tourmaline Physical Properties

One of the features that distinguishes tourmaline from other minerals is that it forms in three-sided prisms with vertical striations. It is a complex silicate compound that contains boron, and it forms in a greater range of colors than any other gemstone on Earth. In fact, it can be found in every color of the spectrum, though some varieties are more common and sought after than others. Black, pink, and watermelon are the types that most frequently comes to mind when one thinks of tourmaline.

Tourmaline most frequently forms as an accessory mineral in metamorphic and igneous rocks. It is found in many places around the world, with some of the most spectacular specimens coming from mines in Skardu, Pakistan and the Erongo Mountains in Namibia. With a hardness ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, it is a durable material that easily withstands erosion. It can, however, be broken along its striations with relative ease.

Hydrothermal activity is the most common cause of the formation of tourmaline crystals. When hot vapors and waters carry the minerals needed to form this crystal into voids, pockets, and fractures, the stones begin to form. They can range in size from tiny gems measuring just a few millimeters to massive crystals weighing several hundred pounds.

Tourmaline Metaphysical Properties

In the metaphysical community, tourmaline is widely regarded as one of the most powerful protective stones in existence, especially the black variety. While all tourmaline is believed to carry this power, each color is also thought to have its own unique properties, which we will discuss in the next section.

Tourmaline Healing Properties

Tourmaline in all forms is believed to hold a wide range of physical and mental healing properties. All varieties are thought to be good for the healing problems affecting the digestive system. This stone is also used to treat stress and is believed to strengthen the bones and teeth. Black, pink, and watermelon tourmaline are the most common varieties and tend to be the most sought after in metaphysical circles.

Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline, which can range in color from dark brown and blue to true black, is though to be a strong grounding stone that helps one form a strong connection with the Earth. It also protects against negative entities and energies and can help one overcome negative thoughts and internal conflicts.

Pink Tourmaline

Ranging in color from light pink to deep red, pink tourmaline is closely associated with matters of the heart. It is believed to instill gentleness and compassion and can form a strong link between spirituality and love. It can be used to stimulate and heal the heart chakra and can help one form strong bonds in all types of relationships.

Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon tourmaline is a variety of pink tourmaline that forms with an outer ring of green. The pink center appears to be surrounded by a green “rind,” which is where this particular variety gets its name. It is said to form a link between the physical body, which is represented by the green outer layer, with the emotions represented by the pink inner layer. In doing so, it helps add joy to one’s relationships and overall life.

How to Use Tourmaline

Bracelets made from tourmaline crystals.

Tourmaline is a powerful stone that can be used in countless ways. Placing a small piece of black tourmaline over your doors and windows is believed to prevent negative energies and entities from entering your home. It can also be placed next to electronic devices – such as computers and televisions – to block their electromagnetic frequencies.

You can also carry tourmaline in your pocket, fashion it into jewelry, or place it in various locations around your home to experience its healing energies. It can be used during meditation and during healing practices, too.

Experience the powers of tourmaline for yourself with a piece from Crystal Allies. We offer exceptional quality pieces at affordable prices and would love to help you add this incredible stone to your collection.

NOTE: All content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.