It’s easy to understand why people confused the tourmaline with other gems: Very few gems match the gem’s dazzling range of colors. From rich reds to pastel pinks and peach colors, intense emerald greens to vivid yellows and deep blues, the breadth of this gem’s color range is unrivalled. Brazilian discoveries in the 1980s and 1990s heightened tourmaline’s appeal by bringing intense new hues to the marketplace. (http://www.gia.edu/tourmaline-history-lore)
Soon the gem was identified in the late 1800’s in California and it was known as the American gem by the Tiffany gemologist George F. Kunz.