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The October Alternative

When we think of the birthstone for October, most of us will say opal, which is true, but did you know there was an alternative? Tourmaline comes in a wide variety of colors – pink, blue, green, yellow, red, black, and even two colors in one gemstone! They also have a wide range of saturations within those colors. Think pale, pink tourmaline vs bright, neon pink tourmaline!



In 1554, explorer Francisco Spinoza, discovered a “Brazilian emerald” which was the first recorded finding of tourmaline. It wasn’t until the 1800’s when new technology taught us that tourmaline was a different mineral species. Here are some different types of tourmalines for you to explore!


Paraiba Tourmaline: This is an intense greenish blue or blue tourmaline originally found in Brazil. Although, there was an African deposit found in the early 2000’s which has brought more of these electric gems into the market place.

Rubellite Tourmaline: This is another intense gemstone of pink and red, it can have a magenta look to it.


Chrome Tourmaline: This is a beautiful, deep green gemstone that looks similar to a very fine emerald. This is probably the type found by Francisco Spinoza!


Mint Green Tourmaline: This tourmaline is a soft, minty-green color of tourmaline that pairs well with other colors! I always feel a sense of calm when I look into this tourmaline!


Parti-colored Tourmaline: This tourmaline shows two different colors in one gemstone! The most know is called watermelon tourmaline because it displays both pink and green. There are different color combinations, but this one is my favorite! (see pic above!)


Economically, tourmaline was a very important gemstone for the United States. In the late 1800’s, tourmaline was discovered in San Diego County of California. The empress of China loved tourmaline, and so we began exporting it to China. Tourmaline was carved into snuff boxes, art pieces, as well as, set into jewelry. When the Chinese government collapsed in 1912, so did US tourmaline trade. You can still visit and mine in some of the mines today!


I would love to help you with you with tourmaline jewelry! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 26 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment

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