Brazilian state of Paraiba

Paraiba Tourmaline

One of the world’s rarest gemstones, Paraiba tourmaline is prized for its electrifying, intense colour, akin to the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.

Paraiba Tourmaline Snowstorm ring

What is Paraiba Tourmaline?

Paraiba tourmaline is a rare and highly prized gemstone known for its breathtaking and vibrant blue-green to greenish-blue hues. What sets Paraiba tourmaline apart and makes it so exceptional is its unique neon or electric colouration, which can resemble the striking shades of a tropical sea. This gemstone derives its name from the Brazilian state of Paraíba, where it was first discovered in the late 20th century.

Distinctive Qualities

Paraiba tourmalines are highly regarded for their distinctive and exceptional qualities, which set them apart from other gemstones:

Vivid Colour: The most striking feature of Paraiba tourmalines is their astonishingly vibrant and intense blue-green to greenish-blue colour. This neon or electric colouration is unparalleled in the gemstone world, often resembling the hues of a tropical sea.

Copper and Manganese: The unique colour of Paraiba tourmaline is attributed to trace elements, primarily copper and manganese, within the gem's crystal structure. These elements interact to create the gem's mesmerising and rare colouration.

Neon Glow: Paraiba tourmalines exhibit a captivating neon or electric glow that is highly visible even in various lighting conditions, contributing to their allure and desirability.

Transparency: Paraiba tourmalines are typically highly transparent, allowing for the passage of light and enhancing their brilliance and luminosity.

Size and Clarity: Paraiba tourmalines can be found in various sizes, from small accent stones to significant centrepieces, and they often exhibit good clarity with minimal inclusions.

Scarcity: Genuine Paraiba tourmalines are exceptionally rare, and only a limited number are found in select locations such as Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique. Their scarcity adds to their value and collectability.

The Different Colours of Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba tourmalines are renowned for their striking blue-green to greenish-blue colours, often referred to as "Paraiba colours." However, within this range, there can be variations in shade and intensity. The primary colour variations for Paraiba tourmalines include:

Neon Blue: This is one of the most coveted and iconic colours for Paraiba tourmalines. It exhibits a vivid and intense electric blue hue with neon-like saturation.

Greenish-Blue: Many Paraiba tourmalines lean toward a greenish-blue shade, which can vary from slightly more green to slightly more blue, depending on the specific stone.

Teal: Some Paraiba tourmalines may exhibit a beautiful teal colour, which combines green and blue tones. Teal Paraiba tourmalines are highly prized for their unique blend of colours.

Turquoise: Turquoise-coloured Paraiba tourmalines feature a blue-green hue reminiscent of the gemstone turquoise. They are known for their soothing and attractive colouration.

Mint Green: Mint green Paraiba tourmalines have a predominantly green hue with a subtle touch of blue. They are celebrated for their fresh and invigorating appearance.

Aquamarine Blue: These Paraiba tourmalines have a lighter, more aqua-like blue colouration. While they may not exhibit the neon glow of other Paraiba colours, they have their own delicate charm.

Paraiba Tourmaline ring sketch

History & Origin

In the world of gems, Paraiba tourmaline is a relative newcomer. It was discovered in the 1980s by the determined gemmologist, Heitor Dimas Barbosa. He had spent years excavating the hills around São José Da Batalha in the Brazilian state of Paraiba, convinced that the land hid a special treasure.

Almost every other shade of tourmaline had been discovered in Brazil’s mineral-rich soils, but when, in 1988, Barbosa caught a glimpse of a lucid neon blue gem, he knew he had happened upon a new source of riches.

A decade after Barbosa made his discovery, another deposit of blue-green tourmalines was found in Mozambique. The best quality stones from this area are known as ‘Paraiba-like tourmalines’, in homage to the brilliance of gemstones from the original Brazilian mine. Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines are sought after by collectors and connoisseurs, but not only for their otherworldly colour: they are highly prized for their rarity.

Only one Paraiba tourmaline is mined for every 10,000 diamonds, making them one of the rarest gemstones on earth.

The original Batalha mine is now all but exhausted; the highest quality, largest stones were excavated many years ago. There are precious few large, high-quality Paraiba tourmalines on the market; every one that exists is a true collector’s stone.

Paraiba tourmalines made their debut in the international gem market in the early 1990s. The discovery of Paraiba tourmalines caused a sensation in the gemstone world, leading to what is often referred to as Paraiba Tourmaline Fever. Prices soared as demand outpaced supply, and these gems became symbols of luxury and exclusivity.

One of the world’s largest cut examples is the ‘Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba’, which is 191.87 carat and currently held in a private collection.

Paraiba Tourmaline Kingdom ring

The Irresistible Allure of Paraiba Tourmalines

The irresistible allure of the Paraiba tourmaline lies in its extraordinary and electrifying blue-green to greenish-blue colours, which are often likened to the hues of a tropical paradise. This gemstone's neon or electric colouration is unmatched in the world of gemstones, casting a mesmerising and vibrant glow that captures the imagination.

The Paraiba tourmaline's rarity further enhances its appeal, with genuine specimens found in only a handful of locations worldwide, primarily Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique.

To accentuate the gem's exceptional colour and maximise its brilliance, the best cuts for Paraiba tourmalines include the emerald cut, oval cut, and cushion cut. These cuts allow light to penetrate the gem, highlighting its unique colour and creating a visual spectacle that is both captivating and irresistible to gem connoisseurs and jewellery aficionados alike.

Paraiba Tourmalines at Pragnell

On the rare occasion that our gemstone buyers come across a Paraiba tourmaline of exceptional size and quality, there is no question that it must become a Pragnell Masterpiece. We set such gems in one-of-a-kind jewels that enhance their astonishing, singular beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. Should you want to find out more please feel free to contact us and begin your Pragnell experience.

The price varies based on size, colour, clarity, and origin. Exceptional Paraiba tourmalines with vivid colours and few inclusions can command premium rates.
Paraiba tourmalines are prized for their unique neon-like colours, rarity, and exceptional brilliance, making them highly coveted.
Verify authenticity with a certified gemmologist or jeweller. Genuine Paraiba tourmalines have vibrant colours and a distinctive glow.
Protect it from heat and chemicals, clean gently, and store separately. Periodic professional cleaning is advised.
No, genuine Paraiba tourmalines have specific neon-like colours; others are categorized differently.

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