Copper bearing tourmaline, more often recognized by the name Paraíba, is technically named cuprian elbaite tourmaline. As a trace element, copper is responsible for the intense neon blue hues that make Paraíba and Paraíba-type tourmalines so desirable. A stone is considered a Paraíba tourmaline if mined in the specific region in Paraíba, Brazil where the stone was first discovered in the 1980’s. The allure of this magnificent stone from the moment of its discovery saw demand far surpass supply. Thanks to more recent discoveries of deposits in Nigeria and Mozambique supply has increased for this unique stone, but fine material over a carat remains extremely rare. Stones mined in Mozambique, Nigeria or anywhere else in the world besides Paraíba are thus referred to as Paraíba-type tourmalines. From the moment this stone was discovered, its unique color captivated gem collectors and jewelry lovers around the world.
Demand has remained high with the addition of new sources; no other color tourmaline has ever commanded the prices of fine cuprian elbaite tourmaline. The range of color in the stone can appear greenish blue, bluish green, green, blue and violet. Color is perhaps the most important variable when comparing these stones, all other things being equal. Inclusions are to be expected and forgiven when judging fine stones, as long as saturation of color and brightness remain strong.
Tourmaline is the birthstone for October and the gift for the eighth wedding anniversary.
Brazil, Mozambique and Nigeria
Vivid Blue to Green
7.0 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale
1.624 to 1.644
0.018 to 0.040
3.06 (+0.20, -0.06)