If you’re a gemstone enthusiast or a lover of vibrant and rare gemstones, Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline is a name that should be on your radar. Known for its breathtaking neon-blue and green hues, Paraiba Tourmaline is a gemstone that has taken the jewelry world by storm. In this guide, we will explore the fascinating world of Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline, including its history, characteristics, mining locations, and tips for buying and caring for this precious gem.
1. History and Origins of Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline
Brazil Paraiba tourmaline is a rare and highly coveted gemstone known for its stunning blue to green hues. Its history and origins can be traced back to the Brazilian state of Paraiba, where it was first discovered in the late 1980s. The gemstone’s vibrant colors and unique chemical composition quickly captured the attention of gem enthusiasts and collectors around the world.
The discovery of Brazil Paraiba tourmaline is attributed to Heitor Dimas Barbosa, a miner who stumbled upon the colorful gemstones in the hills of Paraiba. The striking neon blue to green hues were unlike any other tourmalines found elsewhere, making them an instant sensation in the gemstone market. The gemstone’s rarity and mesmerizing beauty led to a surge in demand, with prices reaching unprecedented levels.
Geologically, Brazil Paraiba tourmaline owes its distinctive colors to the presence of copper and manganese in its crystal structure. These trace elements create the characteristic neon hues that set it apart from other tourmaline varieties. The gemstone’s unique coloration has made it one of the most sought-after and valuable gemstones in the world.
In addition to its geological significance, Brazil Paraiba tourmaline holds cultural and economic importance for the region of Paraiba. The gemstone mining industry has provided employment opportunities and economic growth for local communities, contributing to the region’s development.
Over the years, Brazil Paraiba tourmaline has gained recognition and admiration from gemstone connoisseurs, leading to its inclusion in high-end jewelry pieces and collections. Its rarity and vibrant colors continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts, ensuring its enduring appeal in the world of gemstones.
Today, Brazil Paraiba tourmaline remains a symbol of natural beauty and geological wonder, cherished for its exquisite coloration and intriguing origins in the hills of Paraiba.
Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline is a captivating gemstone known for its dazzling neon colors and intense glow. This gemstone has become one of the most coveted among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts for several distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other tourmalines.
Firstly, the colors of Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline are truly exceptional, ranging from neon blue, greenish-blue, to blue-green hues. The most prized specimens exhibit a vivid, glowing blue that can be described as ‘electric’ or ‘neon’ due to the presence of copper within the stone. This copper content is a unique feature of Paraiba tourmalines, contributing to their extraordinary color and setting them apart from other tourmaline varieties which are colored by elements like iron, manganese, or chromium.
Another notable characteristic is the crystallography of these gems; they belong to the hexagonal crystal system and exhibit a trigonal formation. This structural aspect often results in beautifully formed crystals that are highly desirable for collectors.
Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines have a high refractive index. This contributes to their bright luster and the way they play with light. Despite this brilliance, they show a relatively low level of birefringence (0.013-0.024). It means there is minimal doubling of the back facets when viewed through the face-up position. This is ensuring a clear and sharp appearance.
These gemstones are generally inclusion-rich, which can affect clarity but also serve as a testament to their natural origin and uniqueness. The inclusions, however, do not necessarily diminish the gem’s value, especially if the color is exceptionally vibrant.
Regarding durability, Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines have a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making them suitable for jewelry. However, they have no cleavage, which means they are less likely to split when being cut or if subjected to a sharp blow.
Enhancements are common in the gem trade, but Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines are often offered with minimal treatments, which enhances their value and appeal. When considering a purchase, it is crucial to inquire about any treatments the stone may have undergone.
3. Mining Locations for Paraiba Tourmaline
Paraiba tourmaline, a variety of elbaite tourmaline, is known for its captivating neon blues and greens. These are due to its copper content. It is a trait that sets it apart from other tourmalines. These gemstones are not only rare but also highly prized, making their mining locations of significant interest to gem enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The term “Paraiba” comes from the Brazilian state of Paraíba. Here, these striking gemstones were first discovered in the 1980s in the Mina da Batalha in the Federal Brazilian State of Paraiba by gem miner Heitor Dimas Barbosa. He spent years digging in the hills of the state on a hunch that something special lay beneath them. His persistence was rewarded with the discovery of this unique and vibrant gemstone.
Tourmaline in Other locations
Since then, other sources of copper-bearing tourmalines have been found. The three most notable locations for mining Paraiba tourmalines today are Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique. The Brazilian stones are often the most valued due to their historical significance and slightly different hue and saturation. In Brazil, aside from the state of Paraíba itself, the gemstones are also mined in Rio Grande do Norte.
In Africa, Nigeria was the next source found, with mining beginning in 2001. Nigerian Paraiba tourmalines tend to be a bit less saturated. But the tourmalines can still command high prices due to their overall clarity and brightness.
Mozambique has become another important source of these Paraiba gems. Discovered in 2005 in the Mavuco area, Mozambican Paraiba tourmalines can rival the vivid colors of the Brazilian stones and are often found in larger sizes.
Due to their rarity and desirability, Paraiba tourmalines from any of these locations can fetch very high prices in the market. This is especially for stones that show strong saturation and a glowing “neon” quality. As mining continues, each source contributes its unique variation to the allure of this extraordinary gemstone. Hence this is making them a true treasure for any collection.
4. Buying Tips for Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline
If you’re considering buying a Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Color: Look for stones with vibrant and intense blue or green hues. Avoid stones with pale or washed-out colors.
- Clarity: Choose stones with good transparency and minimal visible inclusions.
- Cut: Opt for well-cut stones that maximize the gem’s brilliance and color.
- Certification: Always buy from reputable dealers who provide proper certification guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of the gemstone.
- Price: Keep in mind that Paraiba Tourmaline is a rare and valuable gemstone. Expect to pay a premium price for high-quality stones.
If you are looking for other types of gemstones, many Blue gemstones for jewellery available in the market. Every blue gemstone comes up with its own quality and characteristics. You need to verify the certifications before you buy these stones.
5. Caring for Paraiba Tourmaline
To ensure the longevity and beauty of your Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline jewelry, follow these care guidelines:
- Cleaning: Use mild soapy water and a soft brush to clean your Paraiba Tourmaline jewelry. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners or steamers.
- Storage: Store your Paraiba Tourmaline jewelry separately from other gemstones to prevent scratching. Consider using a soft pouch or a lined jewelry box.
- Avoid Exposure: Protect your gemstone from prolonged exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- Regular Maintenance: Periodically check your jewelry for loose stones or damaged settings. Take it to a professional jeweler for any necessary repairs or re-polishing.
Brazil Paraiba Tourmaline is a gemstone that continues to captivate gemstone enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Its vibrant colors, rarity, and exceptional brilliance make it a highly sought-after gem in the jewelry industry. Are you considering buying a piece of jewelry adorned with Paraiba Tourmaline?. Are you someone who just simply appreciate its beauty?. Then this guide has provided you with valuable insights into this extraordinary gemstone.