I get a lot of questions about schorl aka black tourmaline because I use it a lot in my jewelry and often have it available in tumbles or crystals.
Why do so many schorl (black tourmaline) beads and tumbled stones have little cracks and fissures?
I've been asked that a LOT, even told they were broken. The reason lies in the photo of this schorl crystal. See the vertical striations? That's natural in the stone; it's how they grow in nature. (The pink is a reflection, btw.) When beads or tumbles are cut, sometimes they can not be polished down enough -- without them making tiny -- to remove all sign of their natural state.
Will the striations in the schorl make it fall apart?
I've never seen it happen. Schorl is a pretty tough stone with a Moh's scale hardness of 7. I expect it's possible, though, particularly if a bead were cut from too thin a crystal of schorl. I cull any that look like they might come apart and they go in my collection of stones I use for energy work but not for jewelry or display.
Why do you call it schorl? Don't most people call it black tourmaline?
I call it schorl because I like to. It's a German word for the stone which is also used in English. Many if not most people in the US seem to call it black tourmaline. It's also called iron tourmaline. In the end, I like the word schorl best.
Why do you use schorl so much in jewelry and crystals?
Schorl has the crystal meaning of transmuting negative energy to positive. That makes it an excellent protection stone which has the potential to bring a lot of positive energy into one's life. I'm all for positive energy. Plus, black stones are classy.