When presented as a birthstone for October, pink tourmaline often takes center stage — but this gem comes in a color variety greater than any other.
From the palest pink to the richest red, rubellite tourmaline has been prized for centuries and was a particular favorite of Chinese Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi (sometimes written Cixi) during the Victorian era.
H. I. M., the Empress Dowager of China, Cixi (1835-1908)
Depending on the chemical composition, tourmaline can be virtually any color; and a single specimen can exhibit multiple colors, as in the case with the aptly named watermelon tourmaline. In rare instances, tourmalines can also have cat's eye or starburst effect.
With such a stunning visual variety, it's no surprise that this stone was mistaken for countless others over the centuries.
It wasn't until the invention of modern gemological tools that tourmaline was recognized as its own distinct gem species due to its trigonal crystals that form three-sided prisms when viewed under a microscope.
Whether you're an October baby or just want to add an extra pop of color to your collection this fall, our curated selection of antique and estate tourmaline pieces can be viewed at our historic Downtown Franklin location or here on our website.
We're here to help and can't wait to hear from you!
Julie and the Walton's Team