Tourmaline has been prized throughout the ages, and even in contemporary times it is still adored by collectors for being one of the most radiant of all known gemstones, featuring a dazzling, rainbow spectrum of colours.
If you’re looking for an outstanding jewellery item, a Paraiba tourmaline necklace in particular would be an outstanding choice. The following guide will explore some interesting facts about these exquisite gems.
Tourmalines come from a group of related mineral species. They are a crystal silicate, with trace elements giving them their spectacular variegated colours – in fact they are also referred to as the ‘Rainbow Gem’ because of the gorgeous range of colours they display. What makes tourmaline so special is that each stone is totally unique – this makes it ideal for use in jewellery, whether necklaces, rings, earrings or brooches.
These gems feature colours that range from red to green and blue to yellow, with many specimens having two or more colours at the same time and depending on the angle they are seen from. Some tourmalines can also display a beautiful gleam, similar to cat’s eyes.
Chrome tourmalines have a rich green colour due to the same chromium in the crystals that produces the green colour of emeralds. Blue tourmalines tend to be the most expensive, followed by green verdilite tourmaline. The red variety is known as rubellite – it is one of the rarest and priciest of the tourmaline family due to its fiery red colour. If however the gem changes colour under certain lights it is known as pink tourmaline. Yellow tourmalines meanwhile are also known as Canary tourmaline.
Generally, the most valuable of all the tourmalines is the recently discovered Paraiba tourmaline, which was originally found in 1987 in Paraiba, Brazil. These fascinating gems (also known as Cuprian tourmaline) have an intensely rich blue to blue green colour – their exquisite electric, neon hue is produced from traces of copper.
The Paraiba tourmalines from Africa are larger than the Brazilian variety and tend to have a more uniform colour. Nigerian tourmalines are mostly an aqua and mint green, while the Mozambique stones have the widest colour range from teal blue, fuchsia, deep violet, blue, aqua and mint green.
Where Tourmalines Are Found
Tourmaline deposits can be located worldwide, with major sources in Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Africa and Namibia. Other deposits are found in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US. Zambia is rich in both red and yellow tourmalines, which are fairly inexpensive.
The rarity of Paraiba tourmaline is attributed to the fact that to date, they have only been found in the copper rich areas of Brazil, Nigeria and Mozambique. Copper-containing tourmaline was found in Nigeria in the late 1990s – this type of Paraiba is paler and less saturated compared to the Brazilian variety, but has fewer inclusions (natural inner fissures). Mozambique produces a quality of Paraiba tourmaline that is similar to the Brazilian version, but has fewer inclusions and is also less expensive.
Buying Tips for Tourmaline
Always choose the brightest and most vibrant colours when purchasing your tourmaline – in particular, a Paraiba tourmaline necklace, ring or earrings would really stand out.
Although most natural tourmalines have some inclusions this does not affect the value of the gemstone, however relatively ‘clean’ stones will command the highest price.
Almost all the red and pink tourmalines have inclusions visible to the naked eye, but again, this does not affect the price of the gem.
Paraiba tourmaline from Brazil is the most sought-after of all tourmaline, and it is among the rarest gemstones in the world – it is considered even rarer and arguably more beautiful than diamonds.
Unline many other gems, tourmalines are generally left untreated by artificial means, however their colour is sometimes enhanced by irradiation – this is nevertheless almost impossible to detect and will not affect the value of the stone.
Heat treatment may also be used to enhance the clarity of the stone, especially with heavily included tourmalines such as rubellite.
Believed Health Benefits of Tourmaline Gems
Tourmalines were long thought to have magical powers. They are the gemstone of love and long lasting friendship. Furthermore, tourmalines are believed to have strong healing qualities when the body is ill and are considered to be a stone that brings protection and promotes balance. This exquisite jewel has numerous faces because of its changing colours, making it suitable to all moods.
The wondrous tourmaline family boasts an incomparable beauty, with a colour range that outdoes all other gemstones. For jewellery connoisseurs who love that something extra special to stand out from the crowd, a Paraiba tourmaline necklace would be a particularly excellent choice since the design and placement of this type of adornment will ensure the gem truly makes an impact.
Author Bio: Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers.
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