Gem FAQS > Tourmalines > Paraiba Tourmalines

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Paraiba tourmaline were discovered in 1989 in northeastern Brazilian state of Paraiba near the village of Sao Jose da Batalha. Paraiba tourmaline is found in colors ranging from green to blue to violet in amazing vivid saturation and almost neon brilliance. The colors found in Paraiba tourmaline are caused by copper, maganese and gold impurities.

The Paraiba tourmaline was introduced at the Tucson gem show at $200.00 per carat at a time when most tourmaline were priced at $25 to $30 per carat. By the end of the week long show, Paraibas were selling for $1,000.00 per carat and by the end of the year for $3,000.00 per carat. Now a gem quality neon color Paraiba tourmaline can be as much as $45,000.00 making it one of the priciest gemstones on the market.

 There have been deposits of copper bearing tourmaline found in Nigeria and Mozambique. They tend to be paler and not as saturated as the Brazilian and lack that neon-like glow that makes the Paraiba special. The African tourmaline sell at a fraction of the price of a Brazilian Paraiba.

Last updated on March 19, 2010 by Francis M Lynch