Unique Gemstone: Paraiba Tourmaline

These very valuable vivid turquoise blue tourmalines are found in the state of Paraiba, Brazil.The main color of these gemstones come from a high concentration of copper combined with manganese. Paraiba tourmalines come in various tones: emerald green, turquoise, sky-blue, sapphire blue and indigo blue. These colors are not found in any other natural stones. One of the most precious colors is th neon or electric blue. Certain proportions in the mixture of copper and manganese can also result in pale grey to violet-blue tones. Copper in high concentrations is responsible for the highly coveted radiant blue, turquoise and green hues, while violet and red tones are caused by manganese. By means of the burning technique, experienced cutters can eliminate the red colour components, with the result that only a pure copper color remains. Paraiba tourmalines are usually very small. Paraiba tourmalines are almost always quite small, since the beautiful cupriferous tourmaline crystals from the ‘noble hill’ in Paraiba were almost all fragments when they were discovered. Larger raw stones with a weight of over 5 grammes which had not cracked were rare, and only very few crystals had a weight exceeding 20 grammes. For that reason you are very unlikely to find a large Paraiba tourmaline at a jeweller’s or gemstone merchant’s - quite apart from the fact that few specialist merchants actually offer this highly esteemed gemstone rarity at all. Recently paraiba tourmalines are also found in Nigeria and Mozambique.

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