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Learning Library

Paraiba Tourmaline Gemstone

This is  one  of  the  most  sought  after  gemstones on the planet. 

The stunning Paraiba Tourmaline ranges from neon, swimming pool blue to an electric greenish  blue. Its name is derived from the Paraiba State in Brazil, where it was first discovered.

What  makes  this  gem  so  different  to  other Tourmalines is the presence of copper and, to a lesser extent, manganese. The copper within the gem is what makes it appear to glow and this almost neon effect is truly a delight to see.

Due to its range of intense colours, which are similar to that of a peacock, this most spectacular gem is known in the gem trade as the “Peacock Gem”.

Crystal Healers have already embraced this new  gemstone and believe its powers are the greatest  of all Tourmalines. Many state that the different  hues  have  different  abilities:  these  include  promoting  general  wellbeing,  increasing  self- motivation and intensifying the desire to help  and support others.

The Paraiba story would make a great film and  would provide an even better sequel. Its original  discovery was back in 1989, due to the work  of Heitor Barbosa. This lone gem hunter was  convinced that under a tiny little hill measuring  no more than 400 by 200 metres and standing  only 60 metres high lay a new gemstone waiting  to be discovered. He told his close friends that  he was not digging just to extract a quantity of  gems which had already been discovered in this  famous gem area of Brazil, but was going to  make a new discovery.

He  first  cut  ground  in  1981  and  worked  relentlessly  for  many  years  without  success.  Then, in the autumn of 1989, while he was at  home recovering from an illness, a tiny amount  of  a  new  Tourmaline  was  discovered  by  his  assistants. For several years after, the small hill  (later renamed Paraiba Hill) was trawled in an  attempt to find more Paraiba, but it was mainly  unsuccessful.

The sequel took place in Nigeria in 2001, when a  discovery of Tourmaline was found to exhibit the  same optical beauty of Paraiba and after scientific  examination  was  found  to  contain  copper.  Bingo! The plot then gathered pace and the gem  industry  ferociously  debated  whether  the  gem  should be called Paraiba Tourmaline, or whether  a new name should be given as it was found in a  completely different continent. In the end, it was  decided that because it is of the same chemical  composition and therefore very difficult for gem  experts to distinguish between the two, it would  be simpler to allow it to take on the Paraiba title.  The film thus came to an end, and as the camera  drew back, we realise that these two films, both  shot on location, on different continents, have been delicately scripted to succinctly confirm the theory of continental drift.

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A stunning Paraiba Tourmaline ring from the Tomas Rae collection