Tourmaline in crystalline form forms as prismatic striated crystals in a wide colour range (but most commonly black) and is often found in association with quartz, where it is a common inclusion. In appearance the coloured varieties are easy to identify, although brown-green varieties are sometimes confused with epidot. When looking at black tourmaline it can be confused with actinolite or rutile, but when observed closely it appears denser; tends to be obviously striated down its length; and has a glassy or greasy appearance, rather than being dull or reflective.
When found with quartz, the quartz acts to strongly amplify and broadcast the tourmaline's innate energies, which as you might expect are connected with their colour and the chakras. All tourmalines are hugely useful crystals for grounding and balancing the energy bodies according to their colour, and - when in quartz - for diffusing their energies throughout the immediate environs. Quartz with green and pink tourmalines are effective for balancing and opening the heart; with blue and indigo useful to strengthen the throat and 3rd eye; with orange and red are good to energise, clear and ground the lower chakra centres. Watermelon (pink core within a green outer layer) tourmaline is a rare formation that is the very best crystal for working with the heart and high heart centres: however the most frequently occurring tourmaline is coloured black. This is a very powerful stone for personal energy protection and for absorbing and clearing the energy field of negative EMFs - hence their usefulness when placed next to the TV or computer, or used with a mobile phone.
To read more about the different forms and formations of minerals and their uses, you may like to return to our main site and to the pages under the dropdown heading "Crystal Directories".