GemStone Guide





The Paraiba Tourmaline Gemstone

The Paraiba Tourmaline is a fairly new precious gemstone. It was only discovered in 1989, after five years of digging in the hills of Paraiba, Brazil. Only two other countries in the world are known to produce the Paraiba aside from Brazil - Nigeria and Mozambique in Africa.

Of all the tourmalines in the world, the Paraiba tourmaline undoubtedly is the most prized, precisely because it is rare and it has a unique glow. Even to the untrained eye, a Paraiba tourmaline gemstone has a glow that can be best described as “neon” or “electric”. In fact, the Paraiba tourmaline first became popular because of its neon blue color.

Scientists have found that the Paraiba’s glow can be attributed to its copper content. Paraiba Tourmalines, hence, are also called Cuprian Tourmalines. In a study made by the German Foundation for Gemstone Research, it was also found that the Paraiba Tourmaline has a much higher proportion of gold than the earth’s crust.  Paraiba Tourmalines has 8.6 parts of gold per million, while the earth’s surface contains 0.007 parts of gold per million.

Paraiba Tourmalines are evaluated the way diamonds are. They are also priced according to the four C’s of color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

The most prized Paraiba tourmalines are those with a “neon blue” color. Most people erroneously assume that the darker the color of the gemstone, the better it is. In real life jewelry practice, a gemstone with an intense color basic color highly prized. This is not just true for the Paraiba tourmalines, but for other gemstones as well.

A good cut can’t make a Paraiba tourmaline gemstone more expensive or less expensive, but it can add to its glow. A gemstone that is cut well and is faceted evenly reflects light to its surface when it is held up.

Paraiba tourmalines have inclusions that cause its vivid quality. It is the copper content in a Paraiba Tourmaline gemstone that causes it glow. A high copper concentration actually results in a radiant blue Paraiba tourmaline.

Like all other gemstones, Paraiba tourmalines are sold by weight, not by size. Their prices are also affected by their carat weight.  Larger Paraiba stones are sold at a more expensive price per carat because they are more rare than the smaller Paraiba stones.   Paraiba tourmalines are often placed in expensive jewelry. Paraiba Tourmaline rings can be found as part of the inventory of all upscale jewelry outlets.


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