This stone was introduced to Europe in the early eighteenth century by the Dutch, who discovered it in Ceylon. The Singhalese referred to it as oramalli, a word also used to describe zircons. The Dutch renamed it aschentrekker, meaning “ash puller” due to an unusual property with which pipe-smoking Dutch sailors were once familiar: when heated, tourmaline becomes electrically charged and thus attracts ash and dust. Dutch sailors used it to empty the ash from the bowl of their meerschaum pipes. No other gem comes in such a vast array of colors. Single-color tourmalines are rare. Most display a multitude of color nuances blending one into the other, or concentric colored layers. One such specimen is the famous watermelon tourmaline, which has a pink heart surrounded by green. The most coveted tourmaline--rubellite--is red, hence its name. King Gustav of Sweden presented Empress Catherine II of Russia with a rubellite weighing 250 carats, still conserved in the Diamond Fund in Moscow. The rarest, indicolite, is a deep blue-green. The most common color for a tourmaline is green. The muse’s stone, tourmaline is said to give wings to the artist’s imagination. Borosilicate of aluminum. Hardness: 7 to 7.5. Birthstone of the month of October.Symbol of creativity and inspiration. Afghanistan, Brazil, United States, Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka.