Tourmaline is actually the name of a large group of closely related minerals. For gem quality tourmaline, we are primarily thinking of the elbaite variety (named after the island of Elba where it was first studied). Elbaite is the most colorful variety. The other types are lesser known. The first tourmalines were found in Brazil and Sri Lanka by explorers in the 1500s. Today, most of the finest tourmaline come from Brazil and Africa. Next to fluorite, it is considered the most colorful of all mineral species.