Diamond Guide (The 4Cs)
Blue Topaz Guide
Karat Gold Jewelry
Gold Filled/Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold Vermeil/Gold Wash Jewelry
Titanium Jewelry Guide
Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone, which means you can get more bang for your buck, more ‘wow-power’ if you will, by being able to purchase a higher carat weight tourmaline than you could an emerald, ruby or sapphire, say, for the same amount of money.
As with other gemstones such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires, gemstone quality is measured by a stone’s clarity, cut, carat size and color.
Tourmaline Color and Value
Tourmalines come in more variety of colors than any other gemstone, some more rare than others, which affects the tourmaline’s value and subsequently, tourmaline price. The 'carousel' on the upper right side of this page shows pink, rubellite, green, chrome, indicolite, paraiba and bi-color tourmaline rings so you can get a feel for the colors we're about to explain:
Pink – Virtually any shade of pink you like can be found in pink tourmaline jewelry. Tourmalines that range from vivid, ‘hot’ pink to deep red or purple-red are called rubellite tourmalines. Rubellite tourmalines, with their deep vivid reddish color, will be more expensive than pink tourmalines.
Green – Green tourmalines can range in color from a minty or seafoam green to blue/green or ‘shamrock’ green. Green tourmaline jewelry is a popular choice because it’s fairly easy to find good size green tourmalines at a reasonable price. Gem quality green tourmaline has good natural clarity (better than that of the inclusion-prone emerald) and it’s much more affordable.
Chrome Tourmaline – A deep, vivid green tourmaline, more rare than green tourmalines, named for its high chromium and vanadium content which contributes to its gorgeous color. Usually found in smaller carat sizes than green tourmalines, you can expect to find that prices for chrome tourmaline jewelry jumps significantly as you search out sizes greater than one carat or so, where gem-quality, non-chrome green tourmalines are readily available in multi-carat sizes.
A price example: A quick internet search shows an oval cut, 2.3 carat ,VVS (very, very slightly included) loose chrome tourmaline with an asking price of $1,035. The same vendor is selling a 2.02 carat, VVS-VS, unenhanced loose green tourmaline in a dark seafoam color for $165.
Colorless (white) and Black Tourmalines – Neither rare nor expensive, colorless or white tourmaline is not generally found in jewelry. Black tourmaline is usually highly included, meaning it is prone to tiny internal flaws and fissures, which cause it to look opaque rather that the beautiful transparent appearance we’re used to seeing in other tourmalines.
Paraiba Tourmaline is an intense, bright electric blue gemstone. Not as rare as Indocolite, however, it has a lot of ‘wow’ power which makes it popular and it’s popularity makes it pricey.
Bi-color Tourmaline – Bi-color describes any tourmaline that exhibits two colors in one stone. The value of bi-color tourmalines can vary greatly, with tourmalines exhibiting deep, high-intensity colors commanding higher prices.
The hardest part of choosing your tourmaline ring or other tourmaline jewelry is deciding upon color simply because there’s a veritable rainbow from which to choose.
For those that need it, there’s a quick reference guide to GIA’s clarity scale on our Diamond Jewelry Guide page. Remember, nothing beats knowledge and it’s pointless for a jewelry seller to tell you all about a gemstone with VVS clarity if you have no idea what VVS means.
you’ve narrowed down your color selections, keep the
remaining “3Cs” in mind (cut, clarity and carat), do a little
comparison-shopping and you’re good to go!