Maine Attraction: Tourmaline Gemstones

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Mary Hood | 1 Comment

 tourmaline, maine

Most often celebrated for its scenic towns and breathtaking coastline, the state of Maine has even more to offer the world—tourmaline.

Backround and History

Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone found in areas across the world, including Brazil, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Maine.

Tourmaline originally gained notice when it was imported from Sri Lanka to western Europe via the Dutch East India trade. It was valued as both a gem and a curiosity; due to its pyroelectric properties, it can attract then repel hot ash. (One wonders how that discovery was made!)

In the same year that Maine was granted statehood (1820), becoming the 23rd state in the U.S., tourmaline was discovered in Maine’s western mountains. In the following decades, Mt. Mica became a U.S. mining destination for a variety of minerals. The area continues to offer its colorful riches, supporting several Maine and northeastern jewelers.

 pink tourmaline

Tourmaline ranges from 7-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, about the same hardness as quartz.  In alternative spirituality, tourmaline is believed to promote empathy and self-confidence.

All the Colors of the Rainbow

Tourmaline's most common color is black, but it can be found in an array of beautiful shades: violet, yellow, brown, orange, blue, red, pink, green, and clear. Sometimes tourmaline stone comes in multiple colors. A “watermelon” tourmaline, for example, is both green and pink. 

 watermelon tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in many gorgeous tones, including pastel pink and green.
Watermelon Patch Maine Tourmaline Necklace

The hue of tourmaline is determined by its mineral content. Iron-rich tourmaline is dark—usually black, blue-black, or brown. Magnesium-rich tourmaline ranges from brown to yellow while lithium-rich tourmaline may come in just about any color.

green tourmaline ring

This Barbara Michelle Jacobs ring features a shimmering green tourmaline stone. 

Green with Envy Pearl Ring

 pink tourmaline ring 

Aside from pastel variations, tourmaline also comes in more saturated hues like this pretty magenta. In fact, the deeper pink color is caused by prolonged, natural irradiation.
Bezel Set Gold Ring with Maine Tourmaline

A deep teal shade of tourmaline has been gaining popularity since its discovery in 2009. Described as “the color of the twilight sky at winter solstice” by Maine's Cross Jewelers, this blue-green tourmaline is uniquely stunning.

blue tourmaline 

A beautiful, wintergreen stone.
Eureka Blue Maine Tourmaline & Diamond Ring

Travel Idea

If you’re planning to visit Maine, you may want to consider adding a mine tour (or dig!) to your itinerary. This page offers several mining locations scattered between Bethel and South Paris. Aside from tourmaline, you may also uncover varieties of quartz and crystal.


Note: By special request, Barbara Michelle Jacobs can source gemstones, such as tourmaline, from the U.S.


Photos: Tehmina Goskar via Flickr, Ben Russell via Flickr, Cross Jewelers, Creaser Jewelers 

Posted in Informational, jewelry, rings, tourmaline, travel



1 Response

United Gemco
United Gemco

May 02, 2017

Nice Collections, Thank you for the tips.

Leave a Reply

Comments will be approved before showing up.