Tourmaline is a crystalline boron silicate material, and was first discovered in southern India. “Tourmaline” actually refers to the name of this kind of boron silicate, which includes a wide range of color variations. At Dakota Stones, we are lucky to have lots of different tourmaline  in our inventory and by buying multi-tourmaline strands, you can be sure to get a number of different combinations. 


The most common colors today are pink or green. The pink and red in tourmaline is caused by manganese, which is also responsible for the color of thulite. Blue and green are caused by copper, which is also found in turquoise and shattuckite. Some of these colors can also display a rare and unique chatoyancy, which can be found in some of our multi-tourmaline beads. Since the pinks and greens are often found together, a pink and green tourmaline specimen is nicknamed “watermelon.”


There is a lot of mystery and history regarding this stone. Some ancient cultures held the belief that this stone fell from the heavens, passing through a rainbow before it hit the ground and spreading its abundance of color with the earth. Clear samples of tourmaline had been worn by members of royalty all throughout history, but the most notable case surrounds the burial of China’s Dowager Empress Cixi. Though the tomb was heavily looted, it was said her body was laid to rest with copious amounts of tourmaline, which was her favorite gemstone. This gemstone has been recorded by name as far back as the 16th century, and the original specimen identified was actually green! In the 17th century tourmaline and other gemstones were shipped to the west from India to satisfy a curiosity for gemstones and riches from far away lands for their European customers. 


Today, Brazil is the leading supplier of tourmaline, but some can also come out of Maine or California too! In the early 1900’s, California was the leading supplier of tourmaline, and the Himalaya mine there is still considered to have some of the biggest deposits of tourmaline. Mining has slowed in that area, but you can actually visit the site and dig there yourself! 

There is no limit to potential when designing with tourmaline because it comes in such a wide variety of colors. The pinks, greens and even blue all compliment each other, so consider keeping a shade range found within our multi-tourmaline strands. Pairing these designs with faceted crystal quartz or hematite will draw eyes to the natural beauty in the stones. However, for limited color schemes such as the pink tourmaline beads, try pairing with kunzite or iolite for a soft, feminine look. Greens, blues and blacks can be paired with shungite or even red garnet for something bold.


Metaphysically, this stone is said to aid the conscious and unconscious mind to communicate with one another. Because of the intermingling of colors, this is a stone that promotes connections-- with the inner self, or with fraught relationships.