Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Tourmaline – A Stone of Incredibly Dynamic Color

An Egyptian legend holds that on the tourmaline’s journey from the center of the earth it passed across a rainbow and the stone was therefore gifted with all the rainbow's beautiful colors.

A rainbow arching over the pyramids
And yes, a tourmaline stone can represent each color of the rainbow, but that does not even come close to describing the multitude of colors that tourmalines can come in.  The range of colors represented by tourmalines makes the jumbo pack of crayons look monochromatic it is so varied and dynamic.  

Beautiful Cabochon Cut Tourmalines
Tourmalines fuel my interest in color because they, more than anything I’ve ever encountered, surprise me with colors unexpected and new.  Every time I think I have a color figured out and find myself making a blanket statement like, “I don’t’ like pink”, a tourmaline will come into our store to refute my statement. 

A Stunning Pink Tourmaline Ring 
For instance there were two rings that changed my views on pink.  One was a Victorian ring centered by a tourmaline, pink with undertones of coral giving it an idiosyncratic, exotic and stunning beauty.  Another was an Art Deco pink tourmaline ring that I loved for its depth of color.  One client called it a smoky pink because the pink had almost a charcoal color layered underneath the pink, which sounds odd but was exquisite.  It was as if pink had become a liquid like the ocean with all the depth and nuance of the sea’s color.  Which is all to say, I now no longer say I don’t like pink because the tourmaline sure makes pink look sexy.  It makes pink looks sexy as it does red, orange, yellow, green, blue and all the colors you thought you knew until the tourmaline made you take a closer look.

I tried to learn more about how the tourmaline creates such dynamic color and I learned a little but there was a lot of technical language, which I’ll admit I zoned out on.  But what I did absorb had to do with the fact that the crystals that actually make up the stone, unlike most stones crystals, can be multi colored themselves so the very building blocks of the stone lend itself to dynamic colors.  And also tourmalines are unusual in that many of them change color depending on the light and angle.

Regardless of the why or wherefore, tourmalines are one of natures greatest beauties and it is not surprising that the tourmalines root words “tura mali” is the Singhalese words for ‘stone with mixed colors’.  It is also not surprising that the tourmaline in addition to being one of October’s birthstones is also the stone of artists, authors, actors and those in creative fields because that much variety can be nothing but inspiring.

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