Tourmaline is one of the most significant gems for metaphysical use, and it includes a wide variety of different forms, colours and energy spectrums. Tourmaline can be found on every continent but fine tourmaline gems are considered rare and come in high prices.
Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colours because it travelled along a rainbow and gathered all the the rainbow's colours.
The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which was the name given to all coloured crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time. This all inclusive name indicates the inability of ancient gem dealers to differentiate tourmaline from other stones. In fact, at one time in history, pink and red tourmaline were thought to be rubies. Pink tourmaline tends to be pinker in colour than ruby. However, their similarities in appearance are so strong that the stones in the Russian crown jewels believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be Tourmalines. The Chinese have used tourmaline for centuries to carve and engrave figures. Some are even still on display in museums, a testament as to the durability of the stone.
For centuries, various cultures have had different beliefs about what virtues the tourmaline can bring to the wearer. Ancient ceremonies in India included the use of tourmaline as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good. It also served as a tool to make known who or what was the cause of troubles or evil deeds in one’s life. The gem was also highly valued by alchemists who, perhaps because of it’s pyroelectric effect, believed it to be related to the philosopher’s stone. This was said to be the substance that would grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites and change base metals to gold. In modern times, the stone is used by tribes in Africa, Native Americans, and aboriginal groups in Australia as a talisman that protects against all dangers.
Tourmaline is said to be the stone with the most metaphysical properties, believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymphs. It is also thought to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers.
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