Imported from Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 18th century, tourmaline comes from the Singhalese "tura mali", which means stone of various colors. Its chemical formula is complex and includes many elements. This explains both its incredible range of colors and the numerous inclusions and flaws which can be found within the stone. When transparent and containing very few flaws, its colored varieties are cut as gems. Transparent crystals of tourmaline are strongly dichroic, which means that its color varies and changes as it is turned in the light.
Van Cleef & Arpels chooses the purest stones from Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, or Mozambic. The inclusions must not disturb the color or compromise the durability of the stone.
The Maison chooses the green-blue color for its "Paraíba type" tourmaline from Mozambique. The way in which the stone is cut is extremely important as to avoid dark areas and achieve maximum brilliance.
According to legends, tourmaline of all colors protects the wearer against danger and misfortune.
Maintaining your tourmaline:
As with all gems, Van Cleef & Arpels recommends protecting tourmaline from scratches and sharp blows. Avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not clean tourmaline in a home ultrasonic cleaner. Use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to clean tourmaline.