Seafoam Tourmaline® is a member of the tourmaline family. The colors range from a soft green to moderately vivid shades of seafoam blue greens. To paint a picture, just imagine going to the ocean and watching the waves roll in as you relax. As they roll in, some will have a white foam as the wave breaks and just below this point, where the light comes through, you’ll witness one of natures' most beautiful colors. It is from this part of the wave that our Seafoam Tourmaline® gets its name. A medium toned delicate blue-green to green-blue color is the same color as this unique Tourmaline, which we have cut for more than 40 years.
Can you tell us a little about the source of this material?
This bluish green Tourmaline is mined high in the peaks of the Himalayas. The uncut crystals are often long and thin: the miners call them pencils. Historically, this material has been sourced from Afghanistan prior to current-day conflicts. Under present circumstances, we currently work with what we refer to as ‘heritage material’, which means we have reserved rough material that we previously sourced under conditions that met our Fair Trade Protocols but are no longer sourcing from Afghanistan today. We have worked to find other sources for an alternate option for those looking for a similar color but looking for an alternate origin. This alternate is a Tourmaline sourced from Nigeria.
What kinds of sizes, shapes and cutting styles can be found?
Generally, the size range found is between 0.25 carats to 3 carats. Occasionally, there are a handful of rare large sizes found up to 30 carats! We cut this material in a wide variety of shapes and sizes; anything from 1.3mm melee rounds, small marquise, baguettes, various sizes of rounds, cushions, trillions, princess cuts, one of our signature cuts: Opposed Bar Cushion Cut™, and large one-of-a-kind stones like 32 carat concave brilliant ovals. Nearly all Seafoam Tourmaline® are free of eye-visible inclusions.
Is this material typically enhanced in any way?
Seafoam Tourmaline® is completely natural and is not treated in any way. We often get asked if this material is Paraiba Tourmaline because of its nearly identical vivid color. While it does display a similar color, a distinguishing element of Paraiba Tourmaline is trace elements of copper, which helps the gem color and while similar, our Seafoam Tourmaline® does not contain copper. The good news? Seafoam Tourmaline® offers a fantastic untreated color and is much more affordable and readily available. The best of both worlds!
Are there any unique characteristics you can share about this material?
Seafoam Tourmaline® has a unique chameleon-like ability to complement almost every other color as well, which makes it a desirable gem to work with in a variety of designs. Tourmaline also has unusual electrical properties: crystals acquire a polarized electrical charge when heated or compressed. This property has also made Tourmaline one of the latest ‘miracle ingredients’ in cleansing lotions, with some manufacturers making a connection between the gem and an increased ability to pull pollutants from the pores. Others believe it’s a result of a placebo effect, but we’ll let you decide!
What are the gem specs of this material? How do we know if it is authentic?
The material we source at Columbia Gem House is backed with our Gem Trust guarantee. This means you know it’s an authentic gemstone and that we will share all available information with you. You can find additional gem specifications below:
How do I care for my gemstone?
Tourmaline is a great option for everyday wear because of its durability and hardness. You can clean with mild dish soap, using a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.
What can you tell us beyond the facets? I want to know more…
Tourmaline's name comes from the Sinhalese word turmali, which means "mixed." Tourmaline is the most colorful gem variety. Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.