How to Identify Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline

As we covered in a past blog post, paraiba tourmaline is a type of semi-precious gemstone, first discovered in Paraiba, Brazil, in the 1980’s. As a relatively new gemstone, paraiba tourmaline is extremely rare. Paraiba stones are typically smaller and get their blue-green hue from their copper content; occasionally, you’ll find paraiba tourmaline with pink or purple coloration.

Partially due to its rarity, paraiba tourmaline isn’t judged as strictly for its clarity and inclusions as another gemstone might be; instead, the value is based heavily on the color and vibrance, with less attention paid to the inclusions or flaws. Stones with the highest value will boast a neon-blue hue.

How to Identify Paraiba Tourmaline

The best way to properly identify any gemstone is to allow the experts to do the work. However, if you’re attempting to identify a paraiba tourmaline with the naked eye, there are a few things you can look for.

Beyond the neon-blue hue, you should also be able to see some green flashes when the stone is exposed to bright light. Additionally, the stone should appear to have a bright spot within the interior, also when exposed to bright light. Even in dim light, though, the stone should still sparkle. Take a look at the stone in varying light levels.

You can also ask the seller or wearer a few telling questions. Ask about the price, as well as the cutting process. A true paraiba tourmaline will fetch a very high price (as much as five or six figures per carat) and the cutting process includes a special “burning” method that exposes the stone to high heat, to reduce any undesirable red tones lurking beneath the blue and green.

Paraiba Tourmaline from Brazil