Tourmaline, a birthstone for October, is a complex aluminum borosilicate and has a hardness of 7-7.5. Tourmaline crystals occur in numerous different colors including black, pink, green, blue, orange, yellow and colorless. Tourmaline can also form in crystals that exhibit multiple colors in a single specimen. Tourmaline has become a favorite gemstone among jewelry designers and gem collectors the world over. Since it is available in a wide variety of colors, it is ideally suited to almost anyone's taste. Tourmaline is also known for displaying several colors in the same gemstone. These bi-color or tri-color gems are formed in many combinations; gemstones with clear color distinctions are highly prized. One multi-color variety is known as watermelon tourmaline, and features green, pink, and white color bands; to resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink center, white ring, and green edge. This is a color combo coveted for its ability to open up the heart to gratitude, empathy, and happy feelings. It is believed that each variety of Tourmaline offers different healing properties. For example, black Tourmaline can be useful to those who have high levels of stress, worry or obsessive behavior, while green tourmaline can help the wearer be more expressive. If you're looking (or needing) to fall in love with yourself, let tourmaline be your guide—this stone is all about emotional self-pampering.

Tourmaline is found in Brazil, Tanzania, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and here at home in the Pala district in San Diego. Tourmaline is thought to promote compassion, understanding, and positive energy.

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