All tourmaline gems wear well in almost any type of jewelry setting. Blue-colored tourmaline gems, also known as indicolites, are a very popular choice. To help your shopping go smoothly, I’ll share my personal opinions and experiences dealing with blue tourmalines.

Indicolite Buying and the Four Cs

With a hardness of 7 to 7.5 and no cleavage, tourmalines of all types have good durability. However, watch out for stones with flaws/low clarity. These may be weaker.


Indicolites can range from light to dark saturated blue. Although color grading is a judgment call, I think many tourmalines sold as blue are misrepresented. In my opinion, an indicolite can be any shade or color as long as blue predominates. For example, most indicolites have some degree of green in them. (See below). I would call a blue/green stone with dominant blue a blue tourmaline. If the green dominates, I’d call it a green tourmaline or verdelite. Generally, blue brings more money, which explains why some in the trade are eager to call blue/green tourmalines indicolites even if the green predominates.

Of course, most tourmalines receive heat treatments, which can remove or lighten any green tones.

The well-known paraiba tourmaline