Ancient magicians relied upon Black Tourmaline, known as Schorl, to protect them from earth demons as they cast their spells. Today this stone is still revered as a premier talisman of protection, a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies, entities, or destructive forces. It guards against radiation and environmental pollutants, and is highly useful in purifying and neutralizing one’s own negative thoughts and internal conflicts, and turning them into positive, usable energy.
Black Tourmaline is also a powerful grounding stone, electrical in nature, providing a connection between Earth and the human spirit. Its supportive energy aligns the energy centers of the body and channels healing light throughout the system. It promotes a sense of power and self-confidence, allowing for a clearer, more objective view of the world. It is empowering to those who must live or work in challenging environments or when facing difficult circumstances.
Although Tourmaline may be found on every continent, fine crystal specimens and gems are still considered rare and can be quite expensive. Its vast popularity as a gemstone began in 1876, when mineralogist and jeweler George Kunz sold a Green Tourmaline from Maine to the famous Tiffany and Co. in New York, and its desirability spread. More recently it has become a favorite of metaphysical collectors and practitioners for its versatile energy properties.
Tourmaline belongs to a complex family of aluminum borosilicates mixed with iron, magnesium, or other various metals that, depending on the proportions of its components, may form as red, pink, yellow, brown, black, green, blue or violet. Its prismatic, vertically striated crystals may be long and slender, or thick and columnar, and are uniquely triangular in cross-section. They often vary in coloration within a single specimen, lengthwise or in cross sections, and may be transparent or opaque. The name Tourmaline comes from an ancient Sinhalese word turmali, meaning “a mixed color precious stone,” or turamali, meaning “something small from the earth.”
The most common species of Tourmaline is Schorl, which accounts for ninety-five percent of all Tourmaline in nature. It is black, or sometimes a blue so deep it appears to be black. The term Schorl was in use before the 1400s, named for a town in Saxony, Germany, where Black Tourmaline was found in nearby tin mines.
Needles of Black Tourmaline, or Schorl, can also be found embedded in clear Quartz, called Tourmalinated or Tourmalated Quartz. The combination of clear white and radiant black are believed to create a perfect polarity of energies, a manifestation of light and dark forces united together for a common goal. It is regarded as a symbol of great fortune and is not carried as an ongoing charm, but when specific good luck is needed.
One of Tourmaline’s most distinguishing properties is its ability to become electrically charged simply by heating or rubbing it. When charged, one end becomes positive and the other negative, allowing it to attract, or repel, particles of dust or bits of paper. This property of pyroelectricity (from heat) or piezoelectricity (from pressure or rubbing) was well-known to the Dutch traders of the 1700s who used Tourmaline to pull ash from their Meerschaum pipes, calling the stone Aschentrekker, or “ash puller.”