Achroite Tourmaline Gemstone

crys4Gemstone sub-groups of Tourmaline: Dravite, Schorl, Uvite, and Elbaite, this particular one was named after the Italian Island of Elba and Achroite Tourmaline is a part of this sub-group.

Birthstone: Tourmaline is just one two gemstones thought of as October’s birthstone.

Zodiac: It is also considered to be the zodiac gemstones for Libra and Scorpio.

Chemical Make-up: The chemical make-up of Achroite Tourmaline is Sodium, Lithium and Aluminum Borosilicate elements.

Name Origin: Tourmaline is derived from the Singhalese expression tura mali, which means “stone of many or mixed colors”.

History: Tourmaline is often referred to as the rainbow gemstone, due to the huge amount of colors that it is available in. This was certainly believed by the ancient Egyptians who believed that when Tourmaline traveled from its home in the earth’s core to the surface; it did so along a rainbow, which subsequently gifted the gemstone with all of the colors of the rainbow.

Metaphysical: Tourmalines exhibit piezoelectricy and when these stones become warm they become electrically charged – positively at one end and negatively at the other, acting like a magnet and strong enough to attract small particles of dust or ash. It is for this reason that the Dutch of old used Tourmalines to clean their pipes!

Magical/Mystical Powers: As with most gemstones, ancient civilizations credited Tourmaline gems with magical and mystical powers, including having the power to guard against danger and misfortune. Tourmalines are said to have an especially strong influence over friendship and love, lending permanence and stability to both. Tourmaline gems help to amplify psychic ability / energy and are an excellent aid to increasing self-confidence and understanding. Tourmaline is believed to help assist with tranquil sleep, calm nerves, improve concentration and creative processes and to be an aid to curing cancer. Achroite Tourmaline is said to be especially effective at helping the wearer achieve a more harmonious relationship with higher beings / Gods.

achroite_01Availability: Tourmaline is a very widely available gemstone, with deposits occurring the world over. Whilst the occurrence of very high quality, well-colored natural Tourmaline is rare, modern gemstone enhancements and treatments ensure that heat-treated natural Tourmalines are both available and priced at a level making them accessible to all. Of the many Tourmaline varieties available, the occurrence of natural Achroite, or colorless Tourmaline, is somewhat rare when compared to the other Tourmaline varieties.

Source Locations: Afghanistan, Africa, Brazil, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Pakistan, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (California, Connecticut, Maine and Utah).

Evaluation: Tourmaline (regardless of variety) is rated at 7 – 7.5 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This makes Tourmaline suitable to be used in jewelry and will hold up with being worn every day.

Colors: Tourmaline is unmatched by any other gemstone with its huge variety and number of colors. Tourmalines can be found in shades of blue, black, brown, colorless, green, orange, pink, red, yellow and other colors in varying shades and hues, varying from completely transparent to opaque.

In addition to the varying colors there are also known amounts of bi-color, tri-color, multi-color and “Cat’s Eye” Tourmalines. This sets Tourmaline as a gemstone that is available in a color to suit all styles and tastes. Achroite Tourmaline is the colorless, or near colorless Tourmaline variety.

dravite80x63Common Cuts: Tourmaline crystals usually are long and narrow in shape and are more often than not cut into square or rectangular stepped shapes.

Routine Enhancements: Tourmalines are often heat-treated in order to lighten colors and to remove “silk” (a form of natural imperfection / inclusion). Some colored Tourmalines actually transform into other Tourmalines (most commonly the Achroite Tourmaline variety), during this heating process.

Care & Cleaning: Warm, soapy water and a soft brush should be used to clean Tourmaline. Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe. Never use chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid or ammonium fluoride to clean Tourmaline because it can erode the stone. Much like many gemstones, Tourmaline should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and light as this can cause permanent color change.

What Color Reminds You of Spring?

Pastel purple is the color of Spring. Pastel purple makes me think of Easter
and for me, Easter is the beginning of Spring.
Paul C (Sirocco)

When I think of Spring, I think of PINK!! :0)
Tammy L Sexton

Green, because everything (especially the grass) is coming to life.
Debbie B

“It’s a Bead-iful World”

Pastel colors (any of them especially when mixed together)

Overheard at the cooler…tidbits of news

I heard today that Debbie at  It’s a Bead-iful World is having a huge sale on Etsy on her fall items.

Like this one…       

Rubina Sterling Silver Necklace

Go take a peek and I’m sure you will find something really special.

And, did you see what is showing up in the Theme of the Week promotion?  I just got a link to this beautiful piece by Linda of

Linda B’s Gemstone Jewelry, Carms & Paper Creations

Turquoise Aventurine Teardrop Pendant

Totally Turquoise Treasury

chosen by BaublesAndPearls

chosen by BaublesAndPearls

Click and comment…show it some love.

Totally Turquoise!

Don’t forget to stop and say hello to

Bauble and Pearls in her shop as well.

September birthstone: Sapphire

Birthstone Jewelry

Many gem scholars agree that the tradition of birthstones arose from the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible (Exodus 28, 15-30). The breastplate was a ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel and corresponded with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year.

Sapphire is the modern September birthstone and the gem designated for the 5th, 23rd and 45th wedding anniversary; a star sapphire is typically given on the 65th wedding anniversary.

Sapphire is a variety of the mineral species corundum. Sapphires occur in all colors of the rainbow with the exception of red, which is ruby. The name corundum comes from the ancient Sanskrit “kuruvindam”, while the name “Sapphire” comes from the Persian word “safir”, meaning “beloved of Saturn”, (or Greek sapphiros). It is noted in several texts that sapphire was the lapis lazuli of the ancient world, probably because the stones both have the same intense blue coloring.

Sapphire is mined in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Other producers are Burma, Kampuchea, Kenya and Tanzania. Sapphires are commonly heated to improve their color and reduce cloudiness that is caused by rutile inclusions. The rutile inclusions are responsible for the “star” or “cat’s eye” in star sapphires.

Sapphires found on Etsy

After doing a search on etsy for sapphires, I was amazed at the incredible variety available.  I was also stunned at how high-end some of the listings are.  Here’s the most expensive listing on etsy that has sapphires in it.  It retails for $35,000!  Although not a member of etsyBEAD, the designer certainly has a creation worth mentioning.

The Queens Crown- 14kt Handcrafted Pendant with Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphires and Pearls

This luscious pair of earrings is from etsyBEAD’s very own Glamorosi and feature blue sapphires as well as another blue stone, kyanite.

Glamorosi - Kyanite Earrings with Sapphire, Vintage Glass, Sterling Silver - Something Blue 





Glamorosi - Kyanite Earrings with Sapphire, Vintage Glass, Sterling Silver - Something Blue

This gorgeous necklace from one of etsyBEAD’s newer members, beadyIze, showcases the variety of hues with all blue sapphires in a terrific cascade.

Necklace - Sapphire Fade - Sapphire and Sterling Silver, September Birthstone

beadyIze – Sapphire Fade – Sapphire and Sterling Silver, September Birthstone

Remember, sapphires don’t just come in blue, as Nomolos Design shows us in their spectacular matching necklace and earrings called ‘harvest’.

Harvest by Nomolos Design

The above set by Nomolos Design is also part of our current bi-weekly etsyBEAD Theme of the Week sale.  be sure to take a look at all the amazing pieces featured in this sale, both with and without sapphires!!

EtsyBEAD Theme of the Week SALE search

BeadForLife: Eradicating Poverty one Bead at a Time


BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.

The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees — and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all.

All profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty.

I had the good fortune to attend a BeadForLife bead party, given by a coworker who is also very active in her church.  My coworker sold over $1,500 worth of jewelry, all of which goes back to the BeadForLife organization.  I bought several pieces for myself.

BeadParties are held in homes, churches, schools and at a variety of other venues where you and your guests can purchase BeadforLife jewelry, including, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, as well as loose beads, music CDs and note cards. There is no cost to you and we will send you everything you need to host a fantastic and successful party including: educational materials, Ugandan recipes, biographies of the beaders, African music CD, pricing, pre-paid return label, gift tags and our inspirational DVD.


Jewelry can also be purchased directly from the BeadForLife online store.  They are truly amazing, these beads and these women.  Each bead is made from hand-rolled strips of magazine paper.  The beaders buy used magazines at the local market for the purpose of turning into jewelry.  The strips are cut into elongated triangles, are rolled up and then coated with glue (think quilling and decopage).  Once they have dried, the beads are then assembled into jewelry.

BeadForLife is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

4 Things to Check When You Buy Handmade Jewelry Online

Originally submitted by Estherina Sally Tan. For more information about her, visit

One of the popular items that people buy online is jewelry. You might be thinking, are you serious?? Well, it was one of the first questions that I asked myself when I wanted to start my online handmade jewelry shop. But guess what, now I have customers from overseas whom I have not met before!

So, if you are an online shopper, and you are considering buying some beautiful jewelry, what are the things that you need to check before you made a purchase? Let me share with you from a seller and a buyer point of view, since I’m both, because I buy my supplies online frequently and I sell my handmade jewelry online.

  1. Make sure the photos are clear and are taken from different angles.
    As a buyer, I dislike photos that are not clear, blur and dark. If I can’t tell what it is or I can’t see the colours I won’t buy.
  2. The product description include the colours, measurements and materials.
    I have a measuring tape beside me when I buy. It helps me to estimate the size of the items that I plan to buy.
  3. There is a refund and return policy stated clearly in the shop.
    I will trust a shop more if they are confident enough to put out a refund and return policy, especially when I cannot visit their physical shop or touch the item that I want to buy.
  4. A good rating.
    A good rating does not necessary guarantees that I don’t have problems with my transaction, but at least it will make me feel better and more confident with the shop and the owner.