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  • Arron Jones

The Spectacular Paraíba Tourmaline


While all gemstones captivate us in their own ways, few rival the Paraíba Tourmaline in terms of rarity and beauty. Before I talk about the stunning blue variety, let me provide you with some background on the gemstone Tourmaline...

Tourmaline's documented "discovery" first occurs in the year 1554. However, the stone has seen use in jewelry for quite some time and was often mistaken for other stones, like emerald and garnet due to its rainbow-like variety of colors. In fact, the word tourmaline comes from a Sinhalese word, toramalli, which translates to "mixed gems." It wasn't until the 1800s when gemologists started to classify Tourmaline as its own distinct mineral.

Starting in the late 1890s and into the early 20th century, tourmalines were seen as American gemstones due to a large amount being mined in San Diego County, California. Tiffany Gemologist George F. Kunz was largely responsible for this push. The stone was extremely popular with Chinese elites, but saw its prominence decrease after the collapse of the Chinese Empire in the early 1900s.

Fast forward to 1989 in the mountains of the North Eastern Brazilian state of Paraíba...Miner Heitor Barbosa was convinced that something remarkable lay underneath the rocky terrain. After digging for around 5 years, Barbosa unearthed a striking neon blue stone which would later become known as a Paraíba Tourmaline...

Paraíba is the rarest and most desirable variation of Tourmaline. The stone's color comes from copper, an element that is rich in the Brazilian mountains where it is mined. Due to its rarity, Paraíbas carry more value per carat than most other stones, including diamonds. We are extremely fortunate to have a Paraíba on location here at Tammy's Jewelry. Come by and see it today!









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