Tourmaline, Black (Rough)

$11.75$13.75

Calm Protection

Feel happy and relaxed, regardless of the people around you.

Stay centered in your own power and create real change.

Honestly evaluate yourself and others and act accordingly.

Have a better work/life balance and focus on your priorities.

Let Black Tourmaline inspire you to keep it together!

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Healing Properties of Black Tourmaline

Spiritual: 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. Black Tourmaline is attuned to the Root Chakra and linked to the astrological signs of Libra and Capricorn. It is connected to the element Earth and vibrates to the numbers 2, 3 ,and 4.

Emotional: 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: 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: Black Tourmaline is highly recommended whenever life has gotten too stressful or chaotic, and we need to re-focus on the basics.  Black Tourmaline acts as a sweet but serious reminder to take care of ourselves so that we have the energy to handle everything else.   It helps us to embrace “good enough” rather than demanding perfection.  But it also helps us to notice when our “good enough” is actually unhealthy and making our life harder than it needs to be.  For example, there might be a moment when junk food is “good enough” for a quick refuel, but a habit of eating junk food creates additional problems down the road.  Black Tourmaline helps us to find the sweet and sensible spot in the middle, where we can handle the present stress, without creating future stress.  Black Tourmaline is a good talisman for anyone undergoing chemotherapy or other intense healing work.  It helps us to stay calm and stay focused on the things we can control.   It is also a good talisman when dealing with problems that affect the spine or lower -body, such as legs or feet.

Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.

Mineralogy of Black Tourmaline

Rough Black Tourmaline
Rough Black Touramline

Mineral Family: Cyclosilicates

Chemical Composition: 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
Gravity: 2.82-3.32
Hardness: 7-7.5
Luminescence: Blue (short wave)
Luster: Vitreous

Streak: White
Transparency: Transparent to opaque

Location: The most important deposits are in Brazil. Additional deposits are located in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, United States (California, Maine), Zambia, Zaire, and Zimbabwe.

Mineral Family: Tourmaline is a Silicate mineral. Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. 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. Another such subdivision is Borosilicates, which are silicate minerals which contain the element Boron (a brown metal).  Tourmaline is a generic term which refers to 11 varieties of borosilicate minerals. Black Tourmaline is more properly called Schorl.

Formation: 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 

Mining: 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.

Enhancements: Synthetic Tourmalines exist, but are typically used for research purposes and are not readily available to the general public. On occasion Tourmaline may be heat treated to lighten its color; for example, a dark green Tourmaline may be heat treated to create an emerald color. Heat treated Tourmalines are used primarily in the fine gem industry. Virtually any tumbled Tourmaline will be fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting and polishing.

Synonyms: Schorl, Warriorite

 

Map courtesy of TravelBlog
Photos: Raw Black Tourmaline

History of Black Tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in many different shades and so was most likely equated with other similarly-colored gemstones in antiquity. As a result, it is difficult to trace Tourmaline in early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. 

Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, may have described Tourmaline in his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones.  Pliny the Elder described two stones from India which he called lychnis (probably Red Tourmaline) and iona (probably Purple Tourmaline). These two stones had an unusual quality when left to heat in the sun, or warmed by rubbing them vigorously, they would attract small pieces of paper or straw. Tourmaline does in fact have a pyroelectric quality, meaning that when it is heated it gains a static charge which attracts small particles of dust, paper, lint etc.

Anonymous_The_Noord-Nieuwland_in_Table_Bay,_1762Centuries later, Dutch traders in the Indian Ocean brought back to Europe numerous examples of Tourmaline. According to legend, while the Tourmaline were on display in Amsterdam, Dutch children pointed out that the straw from the packaging material was magically attached to the stones. Soon after, Dutch scientists confirmed the unusual trait. While the legend is endearing, it is more likely that Tourmaline’s pyroelectic properties were discovered by Dutch jewelers, who commonly tested the durability of new gemstones by placing them in a fire. When heated, the Tourmaline would have attracted the ash from the fire. Indeed, Tourmaline was originally called aschentrekker, or “ash-attracter”. Later it was called the “electric stone.” 

During this time period, Tourmaline’s metaphysical qualities were first recorded. A European lapidary in 1632 states: “[Tourmaline is] the stone of wisdom, that is clear and resistant to all vagaries of fate.”  Seventy years later, Tourmaline’s modern name was first used when the Dutch East India Comapany marketed  Sri Lanka Tourmaline by its Sinhalese name, Turamli, which is thought to have meant either “stone with mixed colors” or “gem pebbles”.

Aboriginal tribes in Africa, Australia and the Americas are thought to have used Tourmaline as protection against danger and to increase the healing power of medicine men. Ceremonies in ancient India supposedly used Tourmaline as a tool for gaining deeper insight while Arab traditions state that Tourmaline is a stone of the sun and gives strength to the heart and freedom from nightmares.

Black Touramline is also called ‘Schorl’. This name dates back to at least 1400, and was named after a village in Germany named Zschorlau. The villages was near a tin mine, where Black Touramline was also found. Medieval German natural historiansdescribed the black stone and called it “schurl” a variation on the village’s name.

Zschorlau
The modern village of Zschorlau, Germany

Photos: Dutch East India CompanyZschorlau

Ethically Sourced Black Tourmaline

 

The Miners pool their stones in a Co-op

The Co-Op sells directly to an Gem Exporter.

The Gem Exporter sells directly to Moonrise Crystals. 

Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.

 

 

 

 

The Supply Chain

The Supply Chain is clean and short.

The Mine, Co-Op and Exporting Company are all located in the same country.

 

 

The Mine

This Black Tourmaline comes from small mines in Aracuat, Minas Giras, Brazil.

These mines cause only minimal environmental damage and would be relatively safe for miners.

Learn More: Ethical Mining

 

 

The Importer

This Black Tourmaline was cleaned and exported by a Brazilian family business. 

The business focuses on ethical sourcing and manufacturing Brazilian stones.

All workers are safe and paid fair wages. 

Learn More: Ethical Lapidary

 

Sourcing Relationship

I first met this source at the 2020 Tucson Gem Show.  I was surprised to see a sign that advertised “ethical sourcing” and immediately went to investigate.  I discovered a family business, run by a father, mother and sons who live in Brazil.  The business is over 30 years old and originally was much like any other.  But the wife/mother soon became concerned about the conditions in Brazilian mines and polishing factories, and their effect on local communities.  She gradually transformed the business following the principles of Fair Trade and articulated her own ethical commitments.  Among these commitments are: to be environmentally friendly, work with miners coops, have a participatory workplace, develop long-term relationships, sponsoring education for miners’ children, and respect cultural identities.

I had a long conversation with this inspiring woman, discussing both our own businesses as well as the larger industry.  We already shared many of the same ethical commitments.  But I was intrigued by her commitment to respecting cultural identities.  In Brazil, much of the land where the mines are located are owned by indigenous peoples.  But oftentimes miners are from somewhere else, and usually don’t have any vested interest in protecting the local environment or distributing wealth into the local economy.  To respect cultural identities means to do business with local indigenous peoples, rather that transient outsiders.

Safe Handling of Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline

What You’ll Receive: A 100% natural Black Tourmaline

Selection Process: The stone I select for you will be carefully chosen for its beauty and appeal.  If combined with other stones, I always take time to choose stones that look and feel good together.

Origin: Brazil

Polishing Method: Natural. Each stone is unique and minor variations are what makes them beautiful.

Details:

  • Color: Black
  • Polish: Natural
  • Quality: A
  • Shape: Natural rough needles and chunks
  • Size: Average size varies considerably depending on the thickness of the stone.
    • Needle ranges between 0.5 – 1 in / 13-25 mm
    • Small ranges between 0.25 – .50 in / 13-25 mm
    • Medium ranges between 0.5 – 1 in / 13-25 mm
    • Large is .75 in / 19 mm
  • Transparency: May be opaque or translucent, depending on the thickness
  • Weight: Average weight varies
    • Needle is .75 g / 3.75 carats
    • Small is 1 g / 5 carats
    • Medium is 1.25 g / 6.25 carats
    • Large is 2.5 g / 12.5 carats

Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days.  International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.

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