Paraiba tourmaline is one of the most valuable and sought-after gemstones in the world. The reason for this is the extraordinary brilliance and color of the turquoise-blue crystal. Its “Electric Blue” or “Lagoon” hues seem almost otherworldly.
It was first discovered in the late 1980s in the state of Paraiba in Brazil. Tourmalines are among the minerals with the greatest variety of colors, but they had previously never been found in turquoise. Usually it is elements such as iron, manganese, chromium and vanadium that give tourmalines their specific color. Paraiba tourmaline owes its intensely bright color to the element copper, which has never before been observed in a tourmaline. Thus, the color spectrum of Paraiba tourmalines ranges from intense neon blue to shades of turquoise to bright green. The stone reveals the extraordinary vivacity of its color only once it has been cut. When faceted, it sparkles with unparalleled brilliance.
Paraiba tourmalines are also the only gem variety besides opals that intensely split white sunlight into neon colors. In 2005, another deposit of turquoise tourmalines was found in Mozambique in Africa, the only other one it its kind so far. The stones from this find are virtually equal to the Brazilian Paraiba Tourmalines in terms of brilliance and quality. Due to their chemical composition, these gemstones are classified as Paraiba Tourmalines as well. Both mines are depleted by now and Paraiba Tourmalines are therefore a true rarity.