October Birthstone: Tourmaline

Kristen Baird

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Header

Trick or treat! Or why not trick and treat? October’s alternative gemstone, tourmaline is a little tricky and also an absolute treat. This stone has the widest range of colors of any gemstone in existence, so it’s often mistaken for other fine gems. But this is not a “replacement” or imitation gemstone. Tourmaline boasts eye-popping shades of color that can’t be found anywhere else, like a bag full of bright candies. 

Recently, more and more of my clients have been discovering and falling in love with tourmaline and its wide color palette. Here’s why!

Tourmaline Basics

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Basics

Tourmaline is unique not just for its wide variety of colors, but also for its texture. While it’s translucent enough to let light through, it often has lots of interesting inclusions but in a good way. Bubbles, streaks, and internal color variations make every tourmaline stone unique and visually interesting.

Because tourmaline has some of the best qualities of both translucent stones, catching light and sparkle, and opaque stones that boast color and pattern, tourmaline is often cut in rose-cut or smooth cut cabochons. My favorite, the rose cut, is a sort of “in-between” style, with a faceted portion to catch light and a smooth portion to show off color. Depending on the qualities of the stone, I also set tourmaline in prongs, just like I would with any fine gemstone.

Tourmaline Variations

Tourmaline can be found in shades of blue, orange, purple, pink, and green. Watermelon tourmaline transitions from bright green to pink. It really looks exactly like a watermelon! Black rutilated quartz gets its signature striated texture from needle-like inclusions of black tourmaline. It’s also known as tourmalinated quartz. 

Paraiba tourmalines, named for the city in Brazil where they are found, are incredibly rare. They have an intense cerulean blue color found nowhere else in the world. These stones can be even more valuable than diamonds and alexandrite

Kristen Baird Tourmaline Designs

I love playing with all the surprising shapes, shades, and textures of tourmaline. Here are a few of my favorite recent designs.

One-of-a-kind Ripple Rings!

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Watermelon

Cabochon cuts are ideal for showing off a stone’s unrepeatable textures, colors, and patterns.

Just look at that watermelon tourmaline! WOWZA! Fun fact: Long, slender cuts like this one are popular with tourmaline. This is because the crystals are often long, so these cuts show off as much of the stone as possible. 

I also have two contrasting pink tourmaline stone rings, one light pink with green and gray patterns and the other a deep purple-pink with just a hint of green. The dark forest green tourmaline is so luscious, while the light blue interspersed with twirls of green seems to flow like water. I cannot get enough of these one-of-a-kind rings!

Love this? You can get a completely unique tourmaline ring of your own with The Kristen Baird Collaborative Experience!

Tourmaline Fine Jewelry

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Dusty Pink

Tourmaline is one of those rare stones that is versatile enough for both fun funky pieces and elevated fine jewelry. I love putting this stone front and center and showcasing its elegant colors. Here are a few stunning tourmaline designs!

Beneath the Stars in Dusty Pink Tourmaline

The Beneath the Stars ring is one of my most popular designs for engagement rings, and this dusty pink tourmaline version brings it to a whole new level. I have truly never seen this shade of pink in any other stone, and the 18K rose gold band brings out the color even more. It is so romantic and so modern. I’m obsessed!

Seashell Sparkle Studs with Pink Tourmaline

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Pink

These petite yellow-gold studs are also made with pink tourmaline but, as you can see, the shade is totally different. These dainty darlings show that pink tourmaline plays well with yellow gold!

Sunrise Sparkle in Pink Tourmaline and Rose Gold

I see a theme here! This Sunrise Sparkle ring showcases yet another shade of pink tourmaline. How gorgeous does this look stacked with pearl, morganite, and rhodolite garnet? Talk about Barbie vibes!

Sunrise Sparkle in Green Tourmaline and Yellow Gold

Kristen Baird Blog - Tourmaline - Green

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, the Sunrise Sparkle ring is also available in Green Tourmaline! I love pairing green stones with yellow gold, to really make the color pop. Green Tourmaline provides a nice middle ground between bright emerald and mossy green sapphire. You can really choose your own adventure!

Believe it or not, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what tourmaline has to offer. I could probably write a whole book about tourmaline if I wanted to… but I’ve got jewelry to make so I’m going to leave it here for now. I can’t wait to get to work on some new tourmaline pieces!

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