Ancient Egyptians thought that tourmaline, on its long journey up from the earth’s core, crossed through rainbow and gained all its extraordinary colors. While this may be somewhat inaccurate scientifically, it’s a tempting explanation to why this gem comes in so many stunning varieties and hues.
There are three distinct species of tourmaline, each with their own color classes. Schorl is one such species, and is the most common of the three, making up more than 95% of all tourmaline finds. It is typically a bluish-brown to black color. Dravite tourmaline is made up of yellow to brownish black colors, while the third species, elbaite, contains reds and pinks, light blue to green, and clear.
Found typically in granite deposits, tourmaline can be found all over Africa, as well as Afghanistan, Brazil, and the United States. Aside from its beauty, tourmaline is also rare for its electrical properties - when under pressure or heated and then cooled, tourmaline crystals gain oppositely charged sides.