Tourmaline is one of two birthstones for October (the other October birthstone is opal). Very few gems match tourmaline’s dazzling array of colors. Among the most popular colors are the pink, green, bi-color and watermelon. 

  • Rubellites are tourmalines with reasonably saturated dark pink to red colors and medium to dark tones.
  • Indicolite is dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline.
  • Paraíba is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil. This mine is closed and the term "paraiba" now often refers to color rather than where tourmaline was mined.
  • Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s colored mostly by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds.
  • Bi-colored tourmaline displays more than one color. The most common combination is green and pink, but many others are possible.
  • Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the center and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement. 

The most important and plentiful source of tourmaline is Brazil. For the widest variety of color choices and good saturation, Brazilian tourmaline is an excellent choice.

Maine tourmaline is available in limited quantities and is Maine state's stone. Maine’s first major tourmaline deposit was discovered in 1820 at Mount Mica in Paris, by two young boys exploring the local area. Mount Mica intermittently produces various colors of gem tourmaline. The Dunton mine, near Plumbago Mountain, is the most prolific producer of tourmaline in Maine. Prices for Maine tourmaline are generally higher per carat than Brazilian tourmaline. Some beautiful Maine tourmaline colors include apple or mint green and pastel pinks.

Tourmaline is rated 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is generally suitable for everyday wear.