How To Buy Paraiba
Take a look at the shallow ocean in the Caribbean and you will begin to know the colour of Paraiba Tourmaline, except Paraiba is this colour made doubly,intense. Described by some as “Hollywood swimming pool blue”, the color of Paraiba Tourmaline is unlike anything you’ve likely seen before.
So what makes a Tourmaline a Paraiba? Tourmalines occur in the full spectrum of colors but it is copper, in trace amounts, that has created the amazing brilliance you’ll see in these gems. It took about a quarter of a billion years to achieve, but few would argue that Nature wasted her time!
It stands to reason, then, that this amazing color is what gives the gem its value: the deeper, more saturated and vibrant the color, the more expensive the stone.Greenish Blue stones (those with a blue base and a tint of green) are usually more valuable than Bluish Green stones, although this depends on individual taste. Both are very attractive. Most importantly, look for the “Neon” or “Electric” color in the most deeply saturated stones.
Paraiba, as a rule, exists as small stones, typically below 1ct. Stones above this benchmark size increase in value exponentially. Size doesn’t matter as much as color. A smaller stone with a more vibrant color is worth more than a bigger stone with a paler color.
Sions,which is actually your best indication that the stone is natural. As long as the inclusions don’t affect the strength of the stone, they don’t drastically affect the value, although high clarity stones are considered premium.
Point of Origin
The true colors of Paraiba Tourmaline literally cannot be reproduced by print. The actual stones are far more intensely colored than these images suggest.
Stones from Brazil are more expensive due to rarity. They are usually a collector’s stone. Generally Brazilian stones show strong color saturation and are extremely expensive. Look at paying over $25,000 for a fine 1ct Brazilian Paraiba.
Mozambique stones also have good color and a more consistent supply, therefore being more affordable.
Substitutes: Apatite has a similar color to paraiba but certainly does not come close to the same value. As a much softer stone it is not ideally suited for jewelry and is more abundantly available so always ask if the stone you are being sold is a “Paraiba Tourmaline”.
Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline is the most sought after stone in this class. The brilliant, neon blues that come from the Brazilian mine are incomparable to the other mines in the world.This is where the stone was first found, but production is very limited.
There are two African sources Of Paraiba discovered in the late1990’s, one in Mozambique and one in Nigeria. Stones from both are chemically identical to the original deposits in Brazil, with spectacular hues of vibrant greens and seafoam. These new sources are both small,like the Brazilian deposits, and the mining techniques required mean that these stones are every bit as rare and precious as Brazilian. Unlike Brazil, however, these are proving to be a consistently reliable, if limited, source of Paraiba Tourmaline.