Heating techniques, especially at low temperatures that have been perfected over centuries by gemstone treaters, are treatments often seen in Paraiba tourmalines. They are applied to the rare gemstone with the purpose of changing its colour from purple to blue. Other treatments seen in Paraiba tourmalines are clarity enhancements in the form of fissure fillers.
Named after the Brazilian location where it was first discovered around 1989 by miner Heitor Dimas Barbosa in the state of Paraiba, the exquisite Paraiba Tourmaline belongs to the few gemstones that have just been discovered recently.
Upon its discovery the mesmerizing stone was quickly considered the finest tourmaline variety ever found and rocketed in value.
Paraiba tourmalines are a tourmaline variety with a unique colour, defined by a very intense, saturated blue to green-blue hue, and a pronounced brightness rarely seen in combination with high saturation.
Particular geochemical environments cause the formation of these beautiful tourmalines in pegmatitic host rocks.
The tourmaline family is composed of a large number of individual minerals, making their chemical composition highly complex. The trace elements found in Paraiba tourmalines, which are responsible for their exceptional colour, are copper and manganese. Words can barely express the magnificent blues in which Paraiba occurs, they vary from electric blue and neon blue to violet blue, melting into bluish green to greenish blue and green.
Although the first discovered Paraiba tourmaline originated from the Paraiba state in Brazil, which is still the origin of the most coveted ones, later finds were documented near the town of Parelhas, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte. Further sources of this tourmaline were discovered around 2001 in Nigeria and around 2005 in Mozambique.