I was rifling through my gem collection and stumbled across a tiny tourmaline so pink it would put a sapphire to shame. Tourmaline is one of the most colorful gems available on the market.
Due to the complexity of the composition it cannot be synthesized. Few treatments are imposed on this mineral, too. Irradiation and heat can intensify pinks.
Tourmaline often has inclusions, so if you have a microscope handy you have plenty to look at... Like copper platelets in a Paraiba Tourmaline:
A quick note about why some are called Paraiba and others Paraiba-type: Paraiba is a place name and indicates green or blue coloring due to copper. Paraiba-type tourmalines are colored by copper but come from a different location.
When I was at GIA becoming a professional gem nerd, one of the available field trips was to the Stewart Lithia Mine in Pala, California. In addition to a comprehensive underground tour, we were allowed a few hours to go hunting around n the tailings pile for all the goodies we could carry out. I left with a good bit of lovely lavender lepidolite.
And now, for your drooling pleasure, please enjoy some selections from our talented Starving Artists. You may also buy one of these so they can buy themselves a sandwich, or something :)
Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.