Black Tourmaline: Stone of Calmness

While tourmaline occurs in the bright colors of the rainbow, one variety of tourmaline comes in black. Also known as schorl, black tourmaline is a gemstone as superb as the other fine gems, yet surprisingly comes at much lower prices. What makes a black tourmaline stone so affordable? And why is a black tourmaline crystal described since antiquity as a stone of calmness?

Raw black tourmaline crystal
Source: Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Black Tourmaline Properties

Found in long prismatic or columnar crystals harder than quartz, tourmaline is a mineral that occurs in a rainbow of colors. Black tourmaline is commonly known as schorl, from the German Schörl, a variant name of a village in Germany known today as Zschorlau. The black tourmaline stone, which may be brownish in color, comprises about 95% of all tourmaline in the world. Indeed, the black tourmaline gemstone is the most abundant of tourmaline varieties.

Black Tourmaline History

Schorl was the first variety of tourmaline known to man. When brightly colored Sri Lankan tourmalines (from the Sinhalese tōramalli) were brought to Europe, it was not realized at the time that schorl and tourmaline were the same mineral. Believed to hold palliative properties, a black tourmaline crystal was used by the Romans to induce tranquil sleep, calm the mind, and relax the body.

Black Tourmaline Meaning

Like other black stones, schorl is a grounding stone, believed to protect a person from negativity and excesses. Unlike other black rocks though, black tourmaline comes in shiny transparent crystals, thought to promote a sense of power and confidence. This makes a black tourmaline stone ideal to wear in challenging environments, or through times of hardship.

Like onyx, tourmaline is a traditional birthstone for Leo. Leo is the biggest personality of the zodiac. Black tourmaline and onyx, either of which is a grounding stone, are helpful in reigning in the forceful Leo personality, keeping the Leo person more measured in expressing his exuberant self, and accordingly effective in realizing his lofty ambition.

Black Tourmaline Jewelry

Being a glassy gemstone of metallic luster, black tourmaline is among the finest of black stones used in jewelry. Affordably available in huge cuts, a black tourmaline stone makes an elegant choice of black pendant for fine jewelry, be it a ring, earring or necklace. What with its affordability, the black tourmaline crystal is at the same time a favorite material for beaded necklaces and bracelets, often outperforming onyx, obsidian or jet.

Tourmaline is a traditional birthstone for October, the birthstone color of which is multi-color, principally represented by opal. While pink tourmaline is the gemstone specifically designated as alternate October stone in modern America, the other varieties of tourmaline are also conventionally regarded as birthstone for October, including black tourmaline or schorl.

Black Tourmaline Value

Black tourmaline is an excellent gemstone whose quality rivals diamond or sapphire. One is apt to wonder why such a high quality stone comes in rather affordable prices. The reason lies simply on the huge availability of the black tourmaline crystal. Schorl has quite an abundant supply, making the black tourmaline gemstone less expensive, notwithstanding its exceptional quality.

Do you like black tourmaline?

Black tourmaline is a high quality yet very affordable gemstone, believed to protect a person from negativity while enhancing his confidence. Do you like black tourmaline? Do you like wearing black gemstones in general? See also 20 Types of Black Stones for Jewelry.

Published July 15, 2014

About the Author

Deomar Pandan is the author of Power Birthstone. He's on the third draft of a high-fantasy novel, Cybelym, and the first of a historical fiction, Gem Faerie. He hopes to release a nonfiction book about diamond soon. Follow him for updates. Or see his jewelry and designs.