Mint Tourmaline

Posted on July 1, 2022 by Çigdem Lüle, PhD, FGA, GIA GG, DGA

The term mint is generally applied to light to medium green to blue-green tourmalines with high saturation with no gray or brown component. Tourmaline gemstone varieties are known to fall into any color of the spectrum. The complex chemical structure of tourmaline not only results in various colors but also in most interesting color zoning combinations. Although medium to dark and highly saturated colors such as reds, purples, and blue-greens are the most popular with high per carat prices, lighter colored tourmalines have their place in the market. One example is now recognized as “mint tourmaline” and sells at higher price points than any other lighter colored tourmaline variety. The term mint is generally applied to light to medium green to blue-green tourmalines with high saturation with no gray or brown component. A similar color range may be seen in green grossular garnet. Since it is not dark enough to call tsavorite, it is marketed as mint garnet too. Mint tourmaline, 37.10 ct. Courtesy of Pala International. Photo by Mia Dixon. Mint tourmalines were first marketed as such by a US company that had mining operations in Afghanistan almost a decade ago. Similarly, Columbia Gem House branded very light green and blue-green tourmalines from Afghanistan as “Seafoam Tourmaline®” as part of their Fair Trade Gems program too. Today, there are several other locations of mint tourmalines in African and American continents. Fine quality mint tourmalines are expected to be eye clean with high saturation color of blue-green tones. For these exceptionally good examples, the GemGuide green tourmaline charts might be applicable with a premium. Mint tourmalines with lower clarity are typically cut into cabochons and beads. The most appealing sizes are 5 ct and over. They tend to be found in larger sizes compared to darker green and blue-green tourmalines. There are...

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