Mineralogical and Metaphysical Properties of Tourmaline


When I am feeling beset with too many influences or worries, if I feel I am 'picking up' on too many different energies, I sleep with a black tourmaline under my pillow, and always have a restful sleep, feeling protected from overextending my energies.

Tourmaline is the name given to a family of minerals forming hard, slender vertically striated prismatic crystals, often hexagonal or rhombohedral in shape, with a high specific gravity, classified as complex aluminum borosilicate.

Like quartz, tourmaline crystals will generate an electrical charge when pressure is applied in the direction of the vertical axis. This is called piezoelectricity. In addition, some tourmaline will generate an electrical charge when heated.

Tourmaline is the birthstone for the month of October and the Zodiacal sign of Libra. In ancient Hindu tradition, the tourmaline is a stone of motivation, which impels the wearer toward the good, and a "teller" stone that gives insight in times of duress and can identify sources of distress in the wearer's environment.

Shamanic practitioners in African, Native American and Aboriginal tribes used tourmaline to provide protection from physical danger and to amplify healing powers.

Common tourmaline is black, and the lighter colors, such as blue, are much more rare. The colors in the stones are created by the presence of various metallic ions such as iron, titanium, chromium, and others. The various colors of tourmaline are associated with the seven primary chakras within the human aura. 

Black tourmaline is specifically used metaphysically to provide grounding and spiritual protection during any kind of ritual, ceremonial, prayerful or meditative work. 

Blue tourmaline is used to activate the throat and third eye chakras, stimulating communication skills, and psychic awareness. In addition this beautiful blue gemstone helps break up the energy blockages we experience as negative emotions, mental misconceptions, anxiety, fear and stress. Blue tourmaline can be used to facilitate healing of disorders of the lungs, throat, larynx, esophagus, thymus, thyroid and immune system.

Neon tourmaline is highly prized by metaphysical practitioners for its powerful combination of positive energy and multi-faceted healing properties, which make this pendant a highly charged gateway to higher worlds, supportive of meditative practices and inner journeying.

Green tourmaline, also known as a Brazilian Emerald, is associated with the heart chakra. Green tourmaline helps us to see with the heart, to combine a masculine strength with compassionate creativity, and to facilitate the study and practice of agriculture and herbalism for nurturing and healing. Wear this color to help when communicating with devas and nature spirits. In addition, green tourmaline is said to help connect the heart with the third eye, facilitating clairvoyance and fostering a deep experience of Unity with Universal Creation.

Pink tourmaline promotes female balance and invokes the protection of the Great Mother while expressing the energy of unconditional love. Pink tourmaline has been used by healers to help in the treatment of disorders of the endocrine system, and to soothe the wounded psyche, induce peaceful sleep, banish unwelcome dreams, and provide an overall balm to the wearer's body, mind and spirit. Pink tourmaline is also connected to the heart chakra, which can be either green or pink in the Western chakra system.

Rubellite or Red Tourmaline, (see above right) relating to the astrological sign of Scorpio & Sagittarius, is a magnificent ruby violet shade and it resonates with the heart and base chakras, assisting in grounding the energies of love & devotion. It can intensify any loving practices whether they are directed toward ones own health or in the spiritual practices of devotion.

Bi-Color tourmaline provides the wearer with a highly charged gateway to higher worlds, supportive of meditative practices and inner journeying.

Multi-colored neon tourmaline is said to enhance the properties activated by the individual colors found in the gemstone. This beautiful neon pendant combines the energetic qualities of violet and green tourmaline.

Violet tourmaline can be used to activate the crown chakra, and is supportive of direct spiritual experience, contact with the Higher Self, and all states of cosmic consciousness.


Paraiba Tourmaline Filled WandParaiba tourmalines exhibit a totally unique coloration and energy signature, unlike any other tourmalines in the world. Paraiba tourmalines come from the Mina da Batalha in the Federal Brazilian State of Paraiba. Paraiba tourmalines are small, rare and precious. The picture above shows small paraiba tourmaline chips embedded in a crystal wand.

If you could find a 5 carat cut and polished Paraiba on the market it would probably retail for $50,000 per carat, more than ten times the cost of a fine diamond! A tiny Paraiba accent stone with good clarity and color would cost $1500 per carat.

"In 1981, Heitor Dimas-Barbosa found sand-grain-sized traces of brilliantly colored tourmaline in the tailings of a pegmatite that had been worked for tantalite, located on a hill above the village of Sao Jose de Batalha in the middle of the state of Paraiba," say Si and Ann Frazier in a January 1999 article in Lapidary Journal. "In searching for gemmy tourmaline. After much work and expense, in 1987 he found the first pieces of gem material. In 1989, he found a few kilos of beautiful gem materials that left the gem market thunderstruck."

The mine from which these beauties were extracted was soon depleted, and the amount of Paraiba tourmaline on the world markets is severely limited as a result, so the price of these unique gemstones makes them virtually inaccessible to all but the wealthiest collectors.

Brazil is one of nature's tourmaline treasure troves, and gemologists have long praised the many colorful varieties of tourmaline originating in that country's rich deposits. However until the appearance of the Paraiba tourmalines, there were no turquoise tourmalines found anywhere in the world with the radiance exhibited by the Paraiba tourmalines. 

In other types of tourmalines, iron, manganese, chrome and vanadium in trace amounts give rise to a variety of colors from emerald gray to green to blue, indigo, violet and purple. Scientists have discovered that the Paraiba toumalines contain significant amounts of copper, along with manganese. The copper gives Paraiba tourmalines a unique range of radiant blue, turquoise and startling green hues, while the presence of relatively large amounts of manganese imparts violet and reddish tones to these extremely rare and brilliant gemstones.

Paraiba tourmalines are true ascension stones, activating the eighth chakra, which is the home of Higher Mind, and which resides in the aura, some distance above the crown of the head. Paraiba is also a stone of enhanced communication, opening and energizing the throat chakra. Finally, Paraiba tourmaline is a stone that activates the heart chakra and promotes emotional healing along with the sense of safety and protection that facilitates the opening of the heart and the extension of unconditional love to all beings every which way in time and space.

When I first received my first paraiba gemstone, I immediately tried it in meditation. The first thing I noticed was an incredible sense of stillness and quiet. My mind emptied of thoughts, and I had a profound sense of peace and relaxation. 

Next, I noticed a very high frequency energetic excitation above the crown of my head, accompanied by a sense of warmth, which descended into the crown chakra, and then penetrated downwards into the third eye region, then the throat, and finally into the heart chakra. From there the energy radiated in all directions throughout my body.

The inner "witness", or Higher Mind, was intensely active during this process, and although the normal stream of thoughts remained suspended, I was able to very easily maintain an awareness of the energy radiating outward and filling my entire aura with very intense high-frequency fast-vibratilng energy.

As the energy filled my body and aura, I sensed a releasing of the body tensions that arise from negative emotions or reactions to everyday stresses and conflicts. These pockets of tension were located in my lower back, stomach, shoulders and hands. 

We carry a variety of tourmalines, which you can find for purchase in our Gem Crystals section of the Crystal Gallery in the Satya Center Crystal Store.

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