Published May 2014  •  Updated October 2022  •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Black Tourmaline is one of the best healing stones for grounding and protection.  Tourmaline is mined around the world, from gravel pits to deep underground.  While Tourmaline comes in every color, and black can be found in many varieties, the variety known as Schorl is always pure black.  Schorl is named after a small German village, on the western Ore Mountains, where Black Tourmaline used to be found inside Tin mines.  Black Tourmaline has a calm and relaxing presence.  It feels like having a quiet bodyguard walking beside you or guarding your door.  When Black Tourmaline is nearby, we know we are safe and all will be well.

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Black Tourmaline is one of the best protective stones available, particularly for anyone who spends hours each day working/living in a negative atmosphere. It offers protection against psychic attacks and energetic vampires while simultaneously acting as a purifying agent to clear our auric field of anything that does not serve us. This purifying property also allows us to elevate our own consciousness and move forward on the path to Enlightenment. Black Tourmaline is a wonderful grounding stone that can help us stay centered in our own bodies and true to our path. It can also reveal ways we can become more altruistic on a practical physical level, enabling us to create true positive change in the world.

Metaphysical Properties Black Tourmaline
Chakra Root
Element Earth
Numerology 2, 3 ,and 4
Zodiac Libra and Capricorn

Emotional Healing Properties

Black Tourmaline is an exceptionally grounding and protective stone. It helps disperse tension and stress and encourages us to have a positive attitude regardless of circumstances. It can help us to stay heart-centered, logically-minded and able to take ownership for our own “stuff” without feeling like we are responsible for other people’s “stuff.” Black Tourmaline helps us to feel safe and to disengage from obsessive thoughts and chronic worry.

Mental Healing Properties

Black Tourmaline helps clear away negative thoughts, and instead encourages us to just relax and be sensible. It helps us to stay emotionally neutral and to think rationally and with practical creativity.  Black Tourmaline also helps us to recognize our own mistakes and to calmly determine how we can fix them. It ensures that we don’t “beat ourselves up” mentally for our mistakes, and instead helps us to realize that we are still learning, growing, and that everything is going to ok in the end. Black Tourmaline is an especially good stone for anyone seeking a better work/life balance or who needs to take stock of their real priorities.

Physical Healing Properties

Black Tourmaline is also believed to provide protection from electromagnetic smog from cellphones, computers, and other electronics. It is considered particularly beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.  It is also commonly used to provide pain relief, strengthen the immune system, and help detox the body. Its energy is gentler than other “black stones” and so tends to be easier to carry or wear for extended periods of time.

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Black Tourmaline Mineralogy

Where does Black Tourmaline come from?

Tourmaline is found around the world, with many of the most stunning examples coming from Brazil.  Black Tourmaline, also known as Schorl, is one of the more  common varieties.  Notable deposits include: Argentina, Brazil Canada, Czech Republic, France, India, Italy, Namibia, Pakistan, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States.

Mining and Treatments

Tourmaline is a fairly common mineral, but gem quality crystals are relatively rare, and found almost exclusively in Pegmatite. Numerous mines exist whose primary purpose is finding gem-quality Tourmaline.

Opaque Tourmalines are natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing. But transparent Tourmaline can be heat-treated to brighten the color.  For example a dark green Tourmaline might be  heat-treated to become a vivid emerald green.  Such treatments primarily occur in the fine gemstone jewelry industry. Lab-created Tourmaline also exists.  But it is typically used for research purposes and so is not readily available to the general public.  Black Tourmaline is always natural.

Black Tourmaline Placeholder
Black Tourmaline

Mineral Family

Tourmaline is a generic term which refers to 11 varieties of borosilicate minerals that can be any color of the rainbow.  Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedra – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the three corners. These tetrahedras connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into a variety of secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Tourmaline belongs to the cyclosilicate family.  Cyclo means circle and all the minerals in this family form closed rings of tetrahedras.  All Tourmalines are borosilicats, which are cyclosilicates that contain the element boron.   Schorl is a type of Tourmaline that is always pure black.

Black Tourmaline’s energy works well with its family – other Cyclosilicate minerals.  Try it in combination with AquamarineDioptaseEmeraldEudialyte, lolite, Morganite, and Sugilite.  It also works well with other varieties of Tourmaline.  Try it with Dravite and Elbaite.

Black Tourmaline Formation and Crystal Associates

Tourmaline is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rocks. During this cooling down period, borosilica acid shifts from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound, called Tourmaline. Most species of Tourmaline are found in Pegmatite, a type of ignenous rock which typically develops underwater.

Black Tourmaline’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Amazonite, Aquamarine, Moonstone, Muscovite, and Smoky Quartz.

Mineralogy Black Tourmaline
Chemical Formula NA (Mg, Fe, Li, Mn, Al )3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH,F)4
Cleavage Indistinct
Color Black
Crystal System Hexagonal/triagonal
Form/Habit Prismatic, acicular
Fracture Uneven, small conchoidal, brittle
Hardness – Mohs Scale 7-7.5
Luminescence Blue (short wave)
Luster Vitreous
Mineral Family Cyclosilicates
Specific Gravity 3.0-3.2
Streak Colorless
Transparency Transparent to opaque

History of Black Tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in every color making it difficult to trace in early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers.  In antiquity, it was most likely confused with other similarly-colored gemstones, such as green Emeralds, red Rubies and yellow Topaz.  The name “Tourmaline” reflects this multicolored splendor.  It comes from the Sri Lankan word turmali, which can be translated as “stone with mixed colors” or “gem pebbles.”  Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful Elbaite Tourmalines that come in every shade of the rainbow.  The Dutch East India Company first visited Sri Lanka in 1602, and then took control of the island’s coastline from 1640 until 1789.  Among the many imports that the Dutch East India Company brought back to Europe were sparkly gemstones.  The oldest record for Tourmaline’s healing powers is from a lapidary published in 1632 which calls Tourmaline, “the stone of wisdom, that is clear and resistant to all vagaries of fate.”

Black Tourmaline can be a dark Elbaite, but is more often another Tourmaline variety called ‘Schorl’.   It is estimated that 95% of all Tourmaline is Schorl.  This name dates back to at least 1400, and was named after a village in Germany named Zschorlau.  The villagers were tin miners, and Black Tourmaline is sometimes found in the tin mines.  Medieval German natural historians described the black stone and called it “schurl” a variation on the village’s name.  The village is nestled in the foothills of the western Ore Mountains, near the border of Germany and the Czech Republic.  The mountains are the oldest mining district in Europe, with earliest evidence of tin mining dating back to 2500 BCE.  Silver was discovered in the mountains in the 12th century and Uranium in the 19th century, each time setting off a mining rush.   Today, the mines are almost all closed, the few mines that remain are mainly producing Calcite, Fluorite, and Marble.