Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gemstone of the Week: Paraiba Tourmaline

(Paraiba image found on gia.com; this stone was cut by gemcutter Bernd Munsteiner)

Paraiba has to be one of the most beautiful varieties of Tourmaline. It is a variety of Cuprian Elbaite Tourmaline. Paraiba Tourmailine is an intensely coloured gemstone. It may be turquoise-blue, blue-green, and sometimes even violet. Technically, the term "Paraiba" should only be used to refer to the electric blue/blue-green Tourmalines found in Paraiba, Brazil, however, the term is often applied to Tourmalines of the same colour found elsewhere. It has a hardness of 7-7.5 with a vitreous or resinous luster and may be transparent or translucent. Paraiba Tourmalines are about the rarest and most expensive of the Tourmalines. They can reach values of $10,000 per carat and sometimes even higher.  For a chart of current Paraiba values, you can visit GemVal.com.