Sell Tourmaline at Best Market Value Today
Last updated: April 25, 2019
As colorful as the rainbow, tourmaline delights gemstone aficionados all around the world. But what if you have tourmaline jewelry that you’ve inherited or been given that doesn’t suit your style? You need to make sure that you do everything you can to sell tourmaline jewelry at the best price.
What is Tourmaline?
Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral that is classified as a semi-precious stone. Tourmaline of different colors has been highly prized throughout history; ancient legends about the stones say they are found in all colors because they traveled to earth from heaven by sliding down a rainbow. Along the way, they picked up its colors.
One of the most versatile of all gemstones, tourmaline gets its name from the Sinhalese word turmali, meaning “mixed.” It was often mistaken for other jewels before gemologists had modern tools at their disposal; many of the stones in the 17th century Russian Crown Jewels were thought to be rubies but are actually tourmaline.
The Dutch began to import tourmaline to Europe in the early 17th century; the stones they shared with the world came from Sri Lanka. Today, tourmaline is mined throughout the world, with major deposits in Madagascar, Brazil, Tanzania, Australia, Russia, and the United States.
What varieties of Tourmaline are there available?
There are many different types of tourmaline including the following:
- Colorless achroite variety
- Light blue to blue-green Brazilian indicolite variety
- Green verdelite variety sometimes referred to as Brazilian Emerald
- Pinkish-red to red variety known as rubellite
- Brownish to dark-yellow variety known as dravite
- Black to brownish black variety known as schorl
- Red and green variety known popularly as watermelon tourmaline
This is just a sampling; in all, the International Mineralogical Association recognizes 27 different types of tourmaline.
What Factors Affect the Value of Tourmaline?
There are several factors that affect the value of tourmaline, as these stones are wonderfully unique and each is an individual. Like many other precious gemstones including diamonds, the famous “four C’s” including color, cut, clarity, and carat apply. Bold, rich colors are highly desirable, as are large, eye clean examples, particularly when they have been well-cut. Tourmaline may be cut into any shape, and large, superior stones are especially prized.
How Do You Tell if a Tourmaline is Real?
Lab created tourmaline, heat-treated tourmaline, and clarity-treated tourmaline are common and are difficult to discern from true tourmaline. For this reason, anyone wishing to buy or sell tourmaline should consult with expert gemologists, who are the only ones capable to spot problem stones, fakes, and impostors with ease.
How Much Do Tourmaline Sell For?
The price that tourmaline sells for depends on quality. It can range from a few dollars per carat to thousands. In 2015, a 31.96 cushion cut carat rubellite tourmaline ring was sold for $18,750 at Christie’s. Similarly, in 2011 a pink tourmaline pendant was sold for $13,750 at the same auction house.
What is a Paraiba Tourmaline?
Paraiba tourmaline is the most expensive and rare variety of tourmaline. It was discovered in the 1980’s in the northern state of Paraiba, in Brazil. It definitely rocked the gemstones world, reaching the high price of $10,00 per carat. This unique variety is available in greenish blue, bluish green, green, blue, and violet hues.
What is a Watermelon Tourmaline?
Watermelon tourmaline is pink on the inside and green on the outside, resembling the fresh fruit. This happens due to a change in the concentration or composition of the trace elements during the crystal’s growth. This variety of tourmaline is generally cut in slices in order to show off the spectacular natural design.
What Types of Jewelry is Tourmaline Typically Found In?
Tourmaline can be found in all types of jewelry. Rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings are popular, as are brooches, cufflinks, and shirt studs. Vintage and antique tourmaline jewelry is highly prized, as are designer pieces including those showcasing mixed gemstones in contrasting or complementary colors.