|There has been increased interest in fine pink tourmaline gems. A major reason is the market for pink tourmaline, like much of the jewelry industry, is driven by Chinese demand, where growing wealth has fueled an insatiable appetite for fine jewels.|
Elbaite is the most well-known and valuable form of tourmaline. Almost all of the tourmaline gemstones are of the elbaite variety. China’s demand for pink tourmaline, and the pinkish-red variety known as rubellite, is not new.
Wallace Chan's ’Vividity’ brooch, with a rare elbaite tourmaline in the centre.
Empress Dowager Tz’u Hsi. A large pink tourmaline, along with pearls, adorns her headdress.
| Part of this penchant for the pink stone is owed to the fact that pink tourmaline was the favorite gemstone of the Empress Dowager Tz’u Hsi of China in the late 19th century.|
During the late 1800s, much of the pink and red tourmaline mined in California, where the gem was first found in 1890s, was shipped to China. The gemstone’s popularity has pushed prices for high quality pieces to ever higher levels.
|Today most tourmaline comes from Africa, particularly Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania.|
Tourmaline is a silicate compounded with aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium or potassium. Tourmaline has a hardness level of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is extremely durable. The best tourmaline displays excellent transparency and a vitreous luster.
White gold, one 14.27-carat cushion-shaped rubellite, brilliants. Cartier.
Buccellati Dream Cuff Bracelet in white and yellow gold with tourmaline and diamonds
Panthère de Cartier Bracelet set with a rubellite, pink sapphires, diamonds and onyx
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady’s Cocktail Ring set with diamonds, carved rubellite and turquoise