One of the reasons tourmaline is a popular semi-precious stone is because of its variations in color. A tourmaline crystal can be almost any solid color, bi-color or multicolor.
Common Solid Colors
Tourmalines are available in every color of the rainbow and range from clear to solid black. Black stones, called Schorl, account for 95 percent of all tourmalines. Yellow-green, orange and brown are also common colors. Because of their easy availability, these colors tend to be inexpensive. Jewelry using these stones can often be found for under $20. Quality stones, however, can cost $150 per carat.
Prized Solid Colors
Pink, especially hot pink, is in demand as of 2010. It can cost as much as $400 per carat as a loose stone. Chrome is a rich, intense green tourmaline from Tanzania. It can cost more than $500 per carat. Indicolite (dark blue or blue-green) and Rubellite (ruby red) are also very popular colors. These stones are often heat-treated to intensify their colors. Loose stones range from $150 to $450 per carat. Paraiba is the most prized solid-colored tourmaline. It is a rich teal blue-green and can cost $7,500 per carat.
One of the most popular tourmalines is watermelon. It is pale pink in the center with a green "rind." Sometimes a white ring surrounds the pink. Nice stones can cost around $125 per carat. The medium dark peach-pink tourmaline is called "sunset" and costs around $65 per carat. There are numbers of other color combinations available.
Lisa M. McMahon began writing in 1992, creating in-house courseware for major office and Web-related software applications. She has conducted numerous workshops on using the Internet for advocacy. McMahon has a Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies from Northland International University.