The answer is yes, black tourmaline can go in water. But…just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
In this article, you will learn what you need to know about putting black tourmaline in water.
Water Baths: The Properties of Black Tourmaline Matter
Do you know the chemical make up and physical properties of your stones that you carry around or work with? You should.
Failing to educate yourself about every stone or crystal that you bring into your home could result in damage to your stone or harm to you.
The important things we are looking at here are: chemical composition (what’s the stone made of), hardness, tenacity, and solubility.
The chemical composition is important, because some elements of crystals react poorly when placed in water.
For example, the copper in malachite is why you need to be careful putting it in water, because of the potential to create toxic fumes.
The chemical composition of tourmaline is really varied and complicated, and may contain aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, potassium, boron, oxygen, and hydrogen. (source)
Black tourmaline (aka schorl) is the sodium iron member of the tourmaline family.
Given its composition, there is little risk of a chemical reaction if black tourmaline is placed in water for a quick or extended period of time.
The hardness of the stone is important because a hard stone is less likely to crack or even break while soaking in water.
You might not see any cracks in your perfect looking stone, but believe us, they are there.
Water molecules are small too.
What happens is that tiny water molecules get into those mini too small to see cracks, and cause those small cracks to become bigger.
As the crack gets bigger, the water may interact with elements deeper inside the stone (like metals), or those elements could leech out into the water (like arsenic).
Black tourmaline is relatively hard on the Moh’s hardness scale, ranking a 7-8. To compare, quartz is a 6-7, and is commonly placed in water.
Because of its hardness level, it is less likely to crack when submerged for an extended period of time.
That being said, the hardness of a stone will not protect the material completely from breakage. A 7 on the Moh’s scale is still not a 10.
While tourmaline is hard, it can be brittle. And when it does break/fracture, the resulting pieces are not going to be attractive chunks.
The brittle nature is one of the reasons why we hesitate to put tourmaline in water for any extended period of time, because if a crack does develop, it could be one that could do some real damage to the stone, with the result being small fragments or pieces that cannot be used for anything else.
Some materials are hard, but put them in water and they dissolve. Selenite (while it is not super hard) just happens to be really water soluble, and even more soluble when you add salt into the mix.
Sadly, more than one selenite enthusiast has put his or her beloved wand into a water bath and returned a day or two later to find it dramatically reduced in size.
Black tourmaline is not water soluble, so there is little worry there about it dissolving when you put it in water.
Can Black Tourmaline Go In Water? Or Should It?
Our position is that it is fine to rinse tourmaline in water to clean it or cleanse it, but that it should not be soaked for extended periods of time in water, or in any water solution.
With tourmaline, the concern is not that putting the stone in the water (like in the bathtub) will harm you. Our concern is that the soak will cause damage to the crystal.
Alternatives to Putting Black Tourmaline In Water
Cleaning Black Tourmaline
With physically cleaning this stone, there is little harm in getting it wet to clean it. Run it under tap water, and let it sit to dry. If it needs it, buff it with a soft cloth. Use dish soap if necessary.
Just give it a chance to dry out thoroughly.
Cleansing Black Tourmaline
Everyone will have a different idea of what works for cleansing. Water soaks are recommended frequently (especially with salt) but we don’t like them because of the risk of damage. Instead, we like to focus on meditation and breath work with a piece.
Secondary to that, we like to utilize other cleansing stones like selenite to help with that process if you feel like you cannot do it with mediation and breath work.
You don’t need to do anything wild or crazy with the cleansing stones, just put them together so that they touch, and do so with the cleansing intention.
If you really think that water is necessary for cleansing, there shouldn’t be a problem with running the piece under water for a limited amount of time. Just avoid long soaks.
Other methods to cleanse tourmaline include placing the stone outside in the moonlight, smudging, and burying in the earth.
Crystal Infused Water
We don’t recommend elixirs made from any version of tourmaline (where you grind up the stone and consume it or drink it). We do like crystal infused water.
But instead of putting the tourmaline stone in the water to soak, we would instead recommend placing the stone on the exterior of the water vessel.
If you can’t tell, we really don’t like soaking our crystals and other precious stones in water to clean them or cleanse them. In general, we don’t do any soaking unless it is a stone that we would be okay losing.
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