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A Guide to Buying Pink tourmaline

Pink tourmaline gemstone ring

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Pink tourmaline is asilicate mineral that comes in various shades of light to dark pink. This gemstone is among the rarest of all tourmaline varieties and is greatly valued for its beauty and eye-pleasing hues. It’s also known as the gemstone of love, empathy, emotional healing, and tranquility.

The hue and transparency of the pink tourmaline make it an ideal choice for all kinds of jewelry and ornaments.

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Here’s what you need to know before you buy pink tourmaline jewelry.

Is Pink Tourmaline the Same as Rubellite?

Pink tourmaline ring

Pink tourmaline by Jewellery Villa. See it here.

Pink tourmaline is a variety of tourmaline that comes in shades of light to reddish pink. It’s similar to rubellite, which is also a red tourmaline variety, but these two aren’t the same thing.

Rubellite is somewhat more vivid and pinkish-red in color, with a more saturated appearance, whereas pink tourmaline comes in a range of red shades with a single stone often showing more than one shade.

The pink or reddish hue of pink tourmaline occurs due to the impurities present in the stone during its formation. Out of all the varieties of the tourmaline family, the pink stone is the rarest.

Origins of Pink Tourmaline

Pink tourmaline was first discovered in Brazil in the 1500’s. However, during this time, it wasn’t given any distinct name, because it was often confused for other gemstones. It was only from the 1800’s that the gem became officially known as tourmaline.

During the 19th century, Pink tourmaline was particularly valued and desired by the Chinese Dowager Empress, Tz’u Hai. Her fondness for the gem created a large market for it.

Pink tourmaline mines are located in California, as well as in San Diego, Brazil, Madagascar, Africa, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Pink Tourmaline – Colors and Shades

Pink tourmaline is available in a wide range of red shades, from faint pink to bright or bubble-gum colors. Some tourmaline stones can also have multiple shades of pink or consist of pink and a combination of other colors, as seen in the watermelon tourmaline.

The vibrancy of pink tourmaline’s color can vary from pale to vivid depending on the manner in which the stone is cut. Usually, stones with deep, rich colors have a main  focus on their main axis.

Tourmaline stones that have a bright and saturated shade are generally more valuable than the pale pink ones. Nevertheless, many people who desire calming properties, prefer to go for a lighter shade.

Pink Tourmaline – Cut

Faceted pink tourmaline earrings

Faceted tourmaline earrings by Been Jeweled. See it here.

Pink tourmaline is typically step-cut, like emeralds, to bring out their color and clarity. However, the stones are also stunning when faceted into ovals, squares, rounds, cushions, emerald, pears, briolette’s, hearts, and marquises, as faceting adds brilliance and depth to the look of the stone.

High-quality stones are usually cut into more conventional designs of ovals, emeralds, and cushions to maximize their color saturation. 

Some pink tourmaline gemstones can have small, tube like inclusions, that results in the cat’s eye effect (asterism).  These stones are usually cut into the cabochon shape, to adequately show off the cat’s eye effect.

Pink tourmaline – Clarity

Pink tourmaline is naturally formed and can have typical inclusions like cracks, fractures, and marks. They are categorized as type 3 gemstones and are expected to have visible inclusions. Pink tourmalines that are clear without any blemishes are rarer to find.

Some pink tourmaline gemstones have their clarity enhanced by drilling or bleaching out the marks. These stones are usually lower priced than naturally colored gemstones. It’s important to ask the jeweler if the stone has been artificially enhanced, so that extra precaution can be taken while cleaning it.

Pink Tourmaline – Durability

Pink tourmaline ring

Pink tourmaline in protective bezel setting by Scott Bonomo Diamonds. See it here.

Pink tourmaline has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making it a good choice for most types of jewelry. However, this is somewhat soft for engagement rings, considering that popular engagement ring gemstones like diamond, moissanite, sapphire and ruby all rank 9 and above. Having said that, with reasonable care and protective settings, pink tourmaline engagement rings can last for decades.

Pink Tourmaline – Jewelry

Pink tourmaline can be worn in all types of jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and pendants. The gemstone complements almost every metal and can be paired with rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, platinum or sterling silver.

Tourmaline is the birthstone for October, so pink tourmaline jewelry is an ideal gift for an October baby. Because of this, tourmaline jewelry is easy to find and readily available at most jewelry retailers.

As mentioned above, daily wear can take its toll on pink tourmaline jewelry, so ensure that adequate care is taken to protect the pieces.

Symbolic Meanings of Pink tourmaline

Pink tourmaline has become popular due to its symbolic meaning and significance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the meanings attributed to the pink tourmaline.

  • Symbol of love – Pink tourmaline is closely associated with the heart chakra and emotions such as kindness, compassion, empathy, and love. It represents all human acts of understanding and gentleness. Those who have pink tourmaline are generally compassionate listeners, and can help both other people and themselves, to open up their heart and receive love.
  • Symbol of healing – Pink tourmaline is believed to assist in the process of mental, spiritual, and physical healing. It’s often gifted to those who have issues like insecurities, depression, and anxiety. It also useful for treating any ailments with the nervous system, endocrine system and the brain. Many healers and spiritual practitioners also use the Pink tourmaline during the process of meditation, and it guides them to reach a higher state of enlightenment.
  • Symbol of balance – The Pink tourmaline is all about balance and it helps create an equilibrium within the mind, body and soul. It also unites the mind and body so that both are in perfect harmony with each other. It creates a balance in the energies, by eliminating negativity and pessimism.
  • Symbol of peace – The warm glow of pink tourmaline helps promote peace and tranquility. The hue provides support to those who have dread, fear, or anger. It helps to channelize negative emotions and replace them with positive ones. Meditating upon a pink tourmaline, while focusing on its unique sheen, can instigate complete calm within the heart and mind.

Pink Tourmaline vs. Pink Sapphire

Oval cut pink sapphire

Pink sapphire gemstone. See more here.

Pink tourmaline and pink sapphire may look very similar, but they belong to different mineral families and have varying properties. Pink sapphire is a precious stone that belongs to the corundum family, whereas pink tourmaline is semi-precious and is a part of the borosilicate mineral family.

When they are observed under a microscope, their color, luster, and markings are drastically different. Additionally, pink sapphire is a much more durable gemstone, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale.

But the major difference lies in the price. Pink tourmaline is abundant, and more affordable. Pink sapphires on the other hand can cost a pretty penny. 

Taking Care of Pink tourmaline Jewelry

Pink tourmalines can last for a long time if they are regularly cleaned and maintained. Here are some tips to keep the Pink tourmaline jewelry sparkly and clean.

1. Remove tourmaline jewelry when in contact with make-up, creams and moisturizers. It should ideally be taken off while swimming, exercising, gardening, or doing any other household chores.

2. Pink tourmaline jewelry should be cleaned with lukewarm water and soap, rather than harsh chemicals and cleaners. A soft cloth or a toothbrush can be used to remove the dirt.  Once it has been cleaned, it’s important to rinse it thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.

3. Don’t directly expose pink tourmaline jewelry to heat, as tourmaline can be damaged and its color altered with sudden changes in heat.

4. When storing pink tourmaline jewelry, keep it separated from other harder objects. if you have a tourmaline ring, check the integrity of the setting periodically to ensure that the stone is safely held within it.

In Brief

Pink tourmaline is the best option for those who want a rosy tinted ornament at an affordable price. It’s also a great choice for a gift, especially due to its various symbolic meaning and significance.