Tourmaline crystal is shaped like a prism and has lengthwise ridges. It exhibits a wide range of colors - more than any other gemstone - and is highly prized for that quality. A delightful example of coloration is the watermelon tourmaline; it typically changes from red to green in a concentric color zonation, i.e., from the center out. A colorless variety, achroite, is very rare.

According to the the two most recent classification systems, members of the Tourmaline Group include: buergerite (brown), dravite (brown), elbaite (multicolored to green), schorl (black), and uvite (black, brown, yellow-green). Elbaite can be broken down even further to individual varieties: achroite (colorless), rubellite (red), indicolite (blue), verdelite (green), and tsilaisite (Mn-rich).

Southern California is a world-recognized source of high quality tourmalines. Fine examples of red, pink, blue, green, and watermelon gemstones come from pegmatites in Riverside and San Diego Counties.

Color: Colorless, all colors.

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Hardness: 7 to 7.5

Tourmaline Shapes: