Tourmaline wasn’t recognised as a gemstone species until the 1800s. Before the mineral was analysed as a separate mineral family, it was mistaken for many different gems due to its diversity of colours. The name tourmaline is derived from the Sinhalese word turmali, which translates as “mixed gemstones of unproven identities.” For example, the “Caesar's Ruby” pendant in the Russian Crown jewels is actually a tourmaline! King Gustav III of Sweden gifted this pendant to Empress Catherine II of Russia, in the 1700s. It is a 52-carat Rubellite tourmaline shaped as a berry, complete with gold and enamel leaves.
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