In just over a few decades, the Paraíba Tourmaline has become one of the rarest and most sought-after gems in the world. Originally discovered in 1989 in the state of Paraíba, Brazil, these vivid stones have a bright glow incomparable to most gems. This copper and manganese bearing Tourmaline comes in shades ranging from brilliant turquoise to stunning blue-green. Although members of this gemstone family technically come in all colors of the rainbow, the Paraíba’s rarity is undeniable – for every 10,000 diamonds mined, there is only one Paraíba Tourmaline.
A recent twist in history makes this remarkable gemstone even more intriguing. In 2003, a new wave of vivid turquoise, copper-bearing Tourmalines entered the market. These stones were mined by hand in the copper-rich mountains of Mozambique and Nigeria in Africa. With only minute chemical differences from the stones unearthed in Brazil, these new Paraíba-like Tourmalines are often found weighing five carats or more.
If we think about the geographical location of these two varieties of Tourmaline, it brings us to a very interesting observation – at some point, the copper-rich mountains of Brazil must have been a lot closer to the copper-rich mountains of Mozambique and Nigeria. Keeping in mind that the continent of South America and the coast of Africa appear to fit together like puzzle pieces, it is very possible that these two landmasses were connected a long time ago and have slowly crept away from each other as a result of continental drift.
Fact or fiction? We can’t be sure. This story only adds to the allure of the beautiful Paraíba Tourmaline, making its wearer part of a very intriguing mystery.
Michael Barin’s Paraíba collection boast a design with a 7.74 carat Paraíba-like Tourmaline set in 18 Karat White Gold and accented with Diamonds. This particular stone displays a rutilated copper pattern, lighting the stone from within.