The perfect tropical ocean blue-green hues of Paraiba Tourmaline have made it one of the most sought-after gemstones. Its name is derived from the Paraiba state in northeast Brazil, where it was first discovered.
- Name: Heitor Dimas Barbosa
- Date of Birth: 1937 (aged 85)
- Country of Birth: Brazil
It was only found relatively recently, in 1989, thanks to the efforts of a man named Heitor Dimas Barbosa. Barbosa, a lone gem hunter, was convinced that a new gemstone lay under a tiny hill measuring no more than 400 by 200 metres and standing only 60 metres high. He told his close friends that he would make a notable new discovery in this famous gem mining area. He began digging in 1981 and worked relentlessly for many years without success.
Then, in the autumn of 1989, after almost a decade of fruitless excavation, the unmistakable electric neon glow of Paraiba Tourmaline was seen by human eyes for the first time in history. Sadly, the yield of this gleaming jewel was small, and further finds were sporadic and tiny. But thanks to the gut feeling and raw determination of Heitor Barbosa, the world was able to enjoy a jewel that looked as if it were plucked from paradise itself.