It's Lovely. It's Versatile. It's Tourmaline!
Tourmaline is our Maine State Mineral - one of the many reasons I love it!
For history buffs, there's plenty of information on the official Maine State website:
According to the book The History of Mount Mica, written in 1895 by Augustus Hamlin, the first major discovery of tourmaline in Maine took place in 1820, when two boys exploring the Oxford Country countryside found a deposit of the crystals near the town of Paris. The resulting quarry at Mount Mica has been operating off and on for almost two centuries.
If you're in or around Boston or Cambridge, the multi-colored, 70-stone Hamlin Necklace is in the collections of the Harvard University Mineralogical Museum
|The Hamlin Necklace|
And read about the operations at Mount Mica, and see photos, on these websites:
org/exhibits/tourmaline_and_ the_rich_legacy_of_mining_at_ mount_mica
Over the years, many other tourmaline deposits were discovered and mined in Maine, including black tourmaline crystals in Oxford, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties.
Crystals of colored tourmaline are mainly from Oxford County and the Poland and Auburn area, with the richest deposits lying along a northwest by southeast line running through this region.
In 1972, a huge deposit of red and green crystals were found in Newry. The "Jolly Green Giant," a 10-inch crystal from the Dunton Mine there, resides at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
|The "Jolly Green Giant,"|
|Tourmaline Mix Sterling Silver Earrings - Capital City Crafts|
Dunton Tourmaline was used in the "State of Maine" Necklace, presented to the state by the Main Retail Jewelers Association in 1975.
|Pink Tourmaline Gold and Silver Ring - Wearable by Design|
Tourmaline is a durable mineral comprising a group of several different minerals with similar crystal structures but various and complex chemical formulae. Each species is determined by its exact combination of elements. In Maine, the most prevalent species is the black, iron-bearing variety called schorl.
Less common is elabaite, the colorful species named for the island of Elba (where the Emperor Napoleon was exiled in 1814 following the Treaty of Fontainebleau and his forced abdication).
|Tourmaline Three Strand Necklace - Designed By Val|
Individual tourmaline crystals may range from transparent to opaque and may or may not be multi-colored. The popular watermelon variety has a pink core surrounded by a green outer layer.
|Watermelon Tourmaline Skinny Bracelet - jewelrybycarmal|
In deposits, tourmaline occurs as elongated crystals, ranging in size from over 12 inches long to microscopic, with a triangular cross section and narrow grooves running lengthwise. Here in Maine, the best specimens are have been found in coarse-grained pegmatite granite, which, cooling slowly over the ages, allowed the tourmaline crystals to grow much larger than ordinary granite would permit.
Color: Colorless, pink, brown, red, yellow, green, blue, black, violet, multi-coloredMoh's Harness: 7-7½Specific Gravity: 2.82-3.32Refractive Index: 1.614-1.666Double Refraction: -0.014 to -0.032Fluorescence: Weak or noneCleavage: IndistinctFracture: Uneven, small conchoidal, brittle Crystal System: Trigonal. Long crystals with triangular cross section and round sides.
|Eclectic Gemstone Bracelet, Maine Tourmaline, Garnet, Agate, Jasper and Hematite with Copper by Rough Magic Creations|
Want to use tourmaline in your own jewelry designs? You don't have too look far! Just head over to one of our own Jets, Elizabeth of ForetTwo, to see these beauties ~
|Watermelon Tourmaline Rondelle Beads|
For more detailed information:
Thanks for reading,