Brazilian Gem Hunter™ and lapidary Tenner Diniz brings us another gorgeous Brazilian gem, Midnight Tourmaline. Tourmaline frequently garners the nickname, ‘the chameleon gem’, not only because of its multitude of colors, but also because of its historic propensity to be confused with other gemstones. Tourmaline is derived from the Sinhalese ‘turmali’, which means ‘mixed parcel’ or ‘stone with mixed colors’ and are a group of related minerals whose differences in composition result in a huge variety of colors.
Enjoying a revival due to the popularity of Black Diamonds, Midnight Tourmaline of a fine quality is impossibly scarce. Aptly named Midnight Tourmaline due to its striking pure black hue, this gem is also known as Black Tourmaline or Schorl (the old German name for this gemstone). An important gemstone in Victorian mourning jewelry, Midnight Tourmaline is enjoying a resurgence due to the increasing popularity of opaque black gemstones. Driven by the demand for Black Diamonds, Midnight Tourmaline is a more affordable alternative that can be polished to a much higher luster than other black gemstones such as Jet, Obsidian or Onyx.
Midnight Tourmaline’s main value determinants are a pure pitch black color, smooth surfaces with a high luster, and cutting quality. It is also a durable gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 7 – 7.5) well-suited to everyday wear. Due to the opacity of Midnight Tourmaline, a superior polish that maximizes the gems’ signature luster is absolutely critical. Tenner will highlight the importance of lapidary for this gem on-air, explaining why such perfect Midnight Tourmaline is rarely found.
Discovered on seven continents, Midnight Tourmaline’s most notable locations are Brazil, Pakistan and Namibia. The most abundant Tourmaline color, Black Tourmaline may account for 95 percent or more of all Tourmaline found in nature. The big problem is that despite this natural occurrence, Midnight Tourmaline is hardly ever found perfectly ‘pure’ (midnight) black with smooth surfaces suitable for high quality gemstones. This is extremely frustrating, and adds to the exclusivity and appeal of an increasingly popular gem.
Midnight Tourmaline is from the famous Sapo Mine in the Doce Valley of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (General Mines). Yielding Midnight Tourmaline of an exceptional quality, it’s arguably the world’s premiere source for this gem, and in Tenner’s mind, the best of the best. The Sapo Mine was discovered in 1985 after a local farmer found signs of Green Tourmaline outside an ant colony on the other side of the hill from the present Sapo Mine. The mine was named Sapo (frog) due to its proximity to a marsh. Commercially scarce because it is rarely faceted into fine quality gemstones, Midnight Tourmaline demand has significantly increased further decreasing the availability of top quality gems. With over 90 percent of gems treated, Midnight Tourmaline is also one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.
Shop our range of stunning Midnight Tourmaline and other beautiful Gem Hunter Gems here.