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October Birthstones


How-to Guide to Buying Tourmaline Jewelry

No two tourmaline gemstones are exactly alike, which makes this a one-of-a-kind gift for any individual. In fact, buying tourmaline jewelry makes an especially perfect gift someone celebrating an October birthday or an eighth wedding anniversary.

With a wide variety of colors, qualities, and sources available, there’s tourmaline jewelry to suit a range of styles and budgets.

Like diamonds, tourmaline is evaluated by the criteria of color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Keep reading to learn more about each condition and how it affects the cost of tourmaline.


Tourmaline is celebrated for its wide range of available colors, from vibrant pinks and blues to rich greens, yellows, and even multicolored stones. Some tourmalines can display two or more distinct colors within a single gem, known as bi-color or tri-color tourmalines.

In general, darker toned tourmaline that appears black is priced lower than brightly colored material. Rubellite tourmaline, in shades of pink or red, is one of this gemstone’s most desirable colors.

Green and blue tourmaline are also popular, though the most striking shades of these colors come from Brazil’s exotic and rare Paraíba tourmaline. Prices can run $10,000 per carat, making this the most valuable variety of tourmaline.

When choosing a tourmaline, look for a hue that resonates with you, keeping in mind that deeper, more vivid colors often command higher values.


While clarity is an essential factor for many gemstones, tourmaline often contains inclusions because liquid inclusions and crystals can get trapped during formation. Some inclusions can even enhance a stone’s beauty, such as the “cat’s eye” effect, where needle-like inclusions create a visually striking line across the stone.

For most tourmaline gemstones, especially those with lighter colors, higher clarity (fewer visible inclusions) is preferred. A clear stone without visible flaws will typically be valued higher than its included counterpart, but each piece should be assessed on its individual appeal.

Some tourmaline material, especially rubellite, undergoes heat treatment to improve color. Other tourmaline is clarity-enhanced to remove inclusions, which can significantly lower the value. Be sure to inquire about this when buying tourmaline jewelry.


The cut of a tourmaline is vital not just for the gem’s shape but also for showcasing its color and minimizing inclusions. A well-cut tourmaline will sparkle evenly across its surface, with no dull, washed-out, or overly dark areas.

Because tourmaline forms in slender, columnar crystals, many finished gemstones have long, irregular shapes. The elongated crystal structure of tourmaline lends itself well to longer cuts, such as emerald or pear shapes.

Tourmaline gemstones tend to absorb light differently down the length of a crystal, compared to light going across it. This optical property is called “pleochroism,” which means the gemstones appear different colors from different directions—so the cut is critical.

Carat Weight

Tourmaline can be found in various sizes, from petite gems suitable for delicate jewelry to large, statement-making stones. As with most gemstones, larger tourmalines with excellent color and clarity are rarer and therefore more valuable.

However, due to its broad availability in larger sizes, the price per carat does not exponentially increase with size as it does with some other gems. It’s possible to find sizable pieces without a massive surge in the cost of tourmaline, making it a favorite for those seeking a more substantial piece of jewelry.

One variety to note: Paraíba tourmaline is rare in sizes larger than one carat. But with these stones, color is more highly valued than size, so a small, brightly colored gemstone is preferred over a large, dark one.

Caring for Tourmaline Jewelry

Tourmaline is reasonably durable, with a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. This makes it suitable for everyday wear, but it still requires proper care to maintain its beauty.

Avoid exposing your tourmaline jewelry to harsh chemicals or extreme temperature changes. When cleaning tourmaline jewelry, use warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Be sure to, avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners, especially for included stones, as they can exacerbate internal fractures.

Store your tourmaline pieces separately from other jewelry in a soft cloth or padded box to prevent scratches or damage from harder stones. By following these care instructions, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your tourmaline jewelry.

Where to Buy Tourmaline Jewelry

With such a wide range of tourmaline options available, there is a gemstone for everyone.

Find a jeweler near you to help choose the best tourmaline birthstone jewelry that fits your preferences.

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