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page 36 of the online mineral museum: tourmaline crystals and their (mostly modern) lore

2011-12-14 - 8:14 p.m.

all tourmaline photos � 2011 by elaine radford

I have a large collection of tourmaline items. Up top, we have my pride and joy, a large window of Watermelon Tourmaline. Brazil.

Please note: The arrangement of the photos has been changed, but they are all here!

For cutting rough as well as specimen purposes, I have a large quantity of Green Tourmaline crystals growing as needles in clear, nearly clear, slightly smoky, and milk-white Quartz crystal. Again, from Brazil. Here are four all-natural, uncut pieces that are currently on display in my mineral cabinet.

Take a better look at this one, which has an area of optical Quartz material with a spray of Tourmaline needles growing out of it. Could be a nice one to cut, but you'd want a steady hand to preserve the starburst. Here's my largest uncut Watermelon Tourmaline Crystal from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

And let's not forget my all pink Tourmaline specimen. Many people call Pink Tourmaline by the jeweller's name, Rubellite.

Watermelon, Pink, and Green Tourmaline all have similar "heart chakra" properties in New Age folklore. I will go with the New Age interpretations for these stones, since Tourmaline was not well understood in earlier ages. Because it comes in many colors -- I believe that the word "tourmaline" once meant "many colors" in some language from the sub-continent of India -- it got all mixed up with other stones in those days before electron microscopes and chemical analysis. A pink Tourmaline might have been mistaken for a pink Sapphire, and a green Tourmaline for an Emerald -- so a pink Tourmaline might have been used for magic associated with Sapphire, while the green Tourmaline may have been used for purposes associated with Emerald. Maybe you can see why I prefer to go with modern myth, because it seems more respectful of the stone's individuality.

So...pink and green, the heart, the center, prosperity, balance, healing, all's right with the world. A pleasant stone to have around to bring forward all good wishes.

And then you have the dark Tourmalines, which are used to soak up negative/unpleasant/evil emotions when you can't get away from the bad environment. (As far as I know, this is a completely modern bit of folklore but I know people have used it since the late 1980s, at least.) Example: A friend held a job she didn't like, with an unpleasant boss. While doing the work of seeking a new job, she carried a Black Tourmaline in her purse to soak up the workplace negativity. Alas, the poor thing got overloaded one day and cracked, thanks to the evil eye of the evil boss. Quit snickering. I mean the stone cracked, not the lady. Maybe she needed a Big Stomp like this one:

I don't know the source of the large, deep black Tourmaline crystal. It is not very well-formed but it sits well in the hand. If I get involved in stone-carving, I believe that this piece could be made into something special. Actually, it's special right now, but it's certainly a lovely material.

I also hold a more pocket-sized Schlorl (black) Tourmaline crystal from Yinnietharra, Western Australia. I haven't needed to carry it in a long while, knock on wood, so it's also enjoying pride of place in the mineral cabinet.

Finally, I have a huge Dravite (brown) double-terminated Tourmaline crystal, also from Yinnietharra, Western Australia.

As far as I know, Dravite is unknown to folklore or metaphysics. We'll just have to enjoy it for its impressive double-terminated form. One termination is definitely "more perfecter" than the other side, but it's still a great crystal for a tourmaline this size. I put two photographs of the same crystal, to give you a view from different angles.

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