Paraiba tourmaline buying guide - Annalise ring in Paraiba tourmaline
Paraiba tourmaline buying guide - Annalise ring in Paraiba tourmaline

Paraíba Tourmaline Buying Guide


Paraíba’s neon blue hues stunned the gem world in the 1980s. Read about the quality factors for this striking gem in our paraíba tourmaline buying guide.

4 Minute Read

Since their discovery, these gems have risen consistently in price. Geological rarity and laborious mining keep the paraíba tourmaline supply low. However, demand is high and rising. Because of their rarity and unique colors, the quality and value factors for these gems differ from other varieties of tourmaline. Be sure to understand these factors before beginning the paraíba tourmaline buying process.

What is a Paraíba Tourmaline?

Paraíba is a variety of elbaite tourmaline with copper content. The name comes from the Brazilian state of Paraíba, the original source. Subsequent discoveries of similar stones in Nigeria and Mozambique caused some controversy over the use of this name. The gem community largely accepts paraíba as a variety name. Nevertheless, some gem dealers may refer to the gems that come from Africa as "paraíba-like" or cuprian tourmalines. However, laboratory reports from major gemological laboratories note that paraíba refers to copper content, not locality.

Furthermore, the GIA's identification of cuprian liddicoatite in 2017 from unknown sources may expand the definition of paraíba tourmaline to include other cuprian gem species of tourmaline.

Paraíba Tourmaline Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS tourmaline value listing has price guidelines for paraíba tourmaline.

Color

Paraíba tourmalines are copper-bearing,...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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