Welcome to Gemstone Auctioneers

Color

Color Description; Occurrence

1 ct.

3 ct.

5 ct.

10 ct.

30 ct.

115 - medium very strongly bluish Green; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil. 

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

14487,21

17,259.43

No data

No data

No data

104 - medium light bluish Green; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil.

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

9,600.22

11,437.29

No data

No data

No data

103 - light bluish Green; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil.

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

5,875.25

6,999.52

No data

No data

No data

094 - medium light very slightly bluish Green; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil.

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

5,144.01

6,128.35

No data

No data

No data

139 - light very slightly greenish Blue; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil.

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

1,853.44

2,208.10

No data

No data

No data

176 - medium light Violet; strong. Origin: Paraiba, Brazil.

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

981.02

1,168.74

No data

No data

No data

Home

Paraiba Tourmaline

It is a rare event when a new gem variety causes tremendous excitement in the gemstone world. It happened with tanzanite in the 1960s, but only with the marketing muscle of Tiffany & Co. behind it. The case of paraiba tourmaline in the 1990s was a different story.


The unusual blue-green paraiba tourmaline was first discovered in the Brazililan state of Paraiba in 1989 by a dedicated miner named Heitor Barbosa. Barbosa worked the Mina da Bathalha for over 5 years before he found the first samples of this extremely rare tourmaline. These gems had an unusual vivid blue-green that had never been seen before in any gemstone. They appeared to glow with a neon or electric-like quality, even in the rough stone. Analysis showed that this unique effect was due to the presence of copper and manganese.


Paraiba Tourmaline from Mozambique

The Paraiba tourmaline was first introduced to the gemstone world at the annual Tucson gem show in early 1990. It caused an immediate sensation. Top specimens sold for as much as $3,000 per carat. At the time this price seemed ridiculously high for a tourmaline; today, ironically, it seems astonishingly low.


The market demand for Paraiba tourmaline was so strong, and the supply so limited, that it became almost impossible for gem dealers to buy stock. However, in 2001 some similar copper-bearing blue-green tourmaline was discovered in Nigeria, though the colour saturation was not as good as the Brazilian material. Then in 2005, a third find was made, this time in Mozambique. The Mozambican material was found in a range of colours, from green to blue-green or violet, with a color similar to the Brazilian Paraiba. In fact the Mozambican paraiba is often cleaner than the Brazilian (which tends to be heavily included) and is found in larger sizes.


Natural paraiba Tourmaline

The new finds of copper-bearing tourmaline led to a vigorous debate in the gemstone community about whether the term "Paraiba" should be used for the African copper-bearing tourmaline. Some argued that the Brazilian and African material were chemically similar, if not identical. Others argued that "Paraiba" was a location name and should be reserved for the Brazilian material only. Thus some gem dealers started to use the term "African Paraiba".

Copper Bearing Paraiba Tourmaline

In 2006, the LMHC (Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee) agreed that "Paraiba" should refer to a type of tourmaline, and not indicate a geographic origin. The term "paraiba" should not be capitalized (as it is in the name of the Brazilian state). Therefore, the term "paraiba tourmaline" may now refer to gems found in Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique, and in other places where new deposits of copper-bearing tourmaline may be found in the future.

Historical values 2005 - 2016

TOP

Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline

About Paraiba Tourmaline

About Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline - History and Introduction

Tourumaline Paraiba (Brazil)

Colour: wide colour range, green, blue, yellow, pink, red, brown, colourless. Bi-colour is common.

Hardness: 7 - 7.5

Refractive index: 1.61 - 1.66

Density: 3.01 - 3.25

Chemical composition: (NaLiCa)(Fe11MgMnAl)3Al6((OH)4(BO3)3Si6O18)

Crystal structure: trigonal

Origins: Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Burma, Russia, USA, Afghanistan.

Tourmalines exist in different colors and are known for their bi-colour or even tri-color varieties. The most expensive colour varieties are intense green, blue and red (see also the Tourmaline Paraiba and Tourmaline Rubelite sections). Heat treatment is occasionally applied to enhance the colour of green or blue crystals. Yellow stones could be irradiated to improve their colour or clarity.