Tourmaline & the Dictionary

What do tourmaline and dictionaries have in common? Nothing, I’m just fixin’ to write about both of them. Did you know the 16th of October was Dictionary Day? Did you know there even was a Dictionary Day? If you hate weird holidays, you should probably not read this blog, because I’ve got diabolical plans to talk about them now and again. Like now, for instance. If you know me, you know I love words. When nobody is looking, I am a writer. It’s a challenge to write short and concise posts for Facebook & Instagram.

I mean, I manage, because someone’s got to do it, but I do suffer from logorrhea on occasion. (No, I’m not going to make you go look it up. Logorrhea: Excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness. Now you know where ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ came from, eh? Ehhhh?) All of that said…there was a parade/party in the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. And we missed it. There were signs involved. One of which said, simply and rather succinctly: Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: the fear of long words. You can’t tell me there’s no humor in language!

But wait—there’s more. You thought I couldn’t tie Dictionary Day into a jewelry blog, didn’t you? Wrong! Did you know, there is a specific term for those who have a phobia of rings? Yep. It’s called kosmemophobia. You’re welcome. NASCAR’s own Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one such affected person. That’s right, we now have Dictionary Day, kosmemophobia, and NASCAR in the same blog. You’re welcome.

So. About tourmaline. Yet another stone with variety, which does fit in with October if one considers the costume side of Halloween. You may recognize this particular gem as “that one weird rock which totally looks like a watermelon.” It can also simply be green, red, or pink. In general, it’s believed to calm fears, build self-confidence, and encourage inspiration. If you didn’t know, tourmaline is one of the world’s most popular gemstones and generally easy to find in stores. Its hardness is 7 to 7 ½, so it’s a pretty durable rock as well.

Brazil has led the pack as a source for tourmaline for around 500 years. In the U.S., our most important source lies in Southern California, where tourmaline was mined in the late 1800s. However, the United State’s first commercial gemstone mine came after a discovery of tourmaline in 1821 near Paris, Maine.

If you’re trying to identify tourmaline, it does have several properties to aid you, as it usually has obvious striations parallel to the long axis of the crystal. Plus, it’s often color-zoned through the cross sections or along the length.

Last but not least…did you know some rare tourmaline is actually blue? It is called “Paraiba” tourmaline, and it gets the gorgeous color from trace amounts of copper. And, our last fun fact for today: red tourmaline can be found under the name rubellite as well.

If you’ve made it all the way here, congratulations! Your brain is now the proud recipient of some fun new facts. Unless you knew all of this already. In which case… do you want to write a blog?!

See y’all next time, and have a wonderful week!

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