Being a Melbournian I’m up-to-date with current fashion trends and seasonal colour palettes, so naturally, I pretty much wear black head-to-toe like the rest of Melbourne. How do you accessorise a dark ensemble? With black gemstones of course, and tourmaline delivers the goods.
Tourmalines make up a group of closely related mineral species that share the same crystal structure but have different chemical constituents and physical characteristics. With one of the longer and more ridiculous chemical compositions, tourmaline is simply referred to as a complex boro-silicate. Each species is defined by their individual properties and chemical composition – all sharing the elements silicon, aluminium and boron they each contain their own complex mixture of other elements. The major tourmaline species are elbaite, liddicoatite, dravite, uvite and schorl, with most gem tourmalines being elbaites, rich in sodium, lithium, aluminium and very rarely copper.
Tourmaline has always been prized for its vast array of colours and magnificent parti-coloured varieties including the lustful watermelon tourmaline, however, the sleek crystals of black tourmaline (schorl) are the focal point of our current collection. What black tourmaline lacks in colour and clarity it makes up for in texture and form.
Found in fine delicate sizes with some crystals reaching over one meter in length, tourmaline may also include another mineral (e.g. quartz) and create an entirely different visual effect. Unearthed from pegmatites, rare igneous rocks, an assortment of gem tourmaline colours may be found in the one pocket along with a bevy of other minerals. Schorl, a heavier mineral dense crystal will form deeper along with other dark minerals.
Forming in masses, prismatic crystals, flat crystals (due to multiple twinning), with/without striations in both large chunky prisms as well as thin, elegant crystals this ebony gem has many forms to offer and inspire jewellery designs. Bunny Bedi, owner and designer at Made In Earth creates bold and dynamic designs using this statement rock.
“Being such an abundant mineral doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right crystals for my designs. Some stones can be brittle and not appropriate for setting in jewellery, while others are simply too big and so I need to be creative and cut them down whilst still retaining some natural textural surfaces.
“Black tourmaline is known as being one of the most protective stones in the metaphysical world. These properties, paired with the raw elegance of natural crystals boost this gems popularity. Tourmalinated quartz brings together two powerful minerals and our faceted stones are a fresh look for this dark stone.”
Just what we need… another black gemstone? Yep! Black is the new black and will always be in style.