Tourmaline is the birthstone for October, the gem for the 8th anniversary and pink tourmaline is also an alternative gem for the 5th anniversary. It has a superior hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale). Tourmaline has the widest range of colours apart from sapphire and spinel.

Tourmaline was first discovered in Brazil in the 1500s by a Spanish conquistador. Until scientists discovered otherwise, it was often mistaken for Emerald. Chinese Dowager Empress Tz’u Hsi (1835 – 1908) loved tourmaline and much of the tourmaline mined in San Diego, California was supplied to her and her court. In the 1980s, a new find of copper bearing elbaite tourmaline from Paraíba, Brazil came on to the market. The rare Paraiba tourmaline is prized for its neon blue/ green colours. More deposits have since been found in Nigeria and Mozambique. Paraiba Tourmalines prices have soared up exponentially in recent years.