Tourmaline comes in an endless bounty of colors: crisp greens, dazzling blues, vivid yellows, pastel pinks, royal reds, and all the colors in between. Because of this wide variety, tourmaline is easily and often confused with other gemstones.
Tourmalines are a group of minerals that all share the same crystal structure but have different physical and chemical properties. These nuances create the color differences. (Nerd alert warning!) For example, traces of vanadium cause greens, iron causes yellows and browns, copper causes blue, and varying amounts of manganese cause purples, pinks, and reds.
Fun fact: Tourmaline is Maine's state gemstone. Curious about when it was discovered there? Check out their government website for more info.
My favorite of the group is liddicoatite tourmaline because of its complex zoned patterns. Each crystal is a true one-of-a-kind and the changes in chemistry during its growth is what causes the detailed color patterns. Take a look at some liddicoatite jewelry at Karin Luvaas.com.