It was only discovered in the late 1980s and named after the state in Brazil where it was originally found. Clean stones of a good size and colour are rare and therefore extremely expensive. The intense colour of these stones is caused by copper and so gems of this variety, new deposits of which have very recently been found in Africa, are often referred to as Cuprian (meaning ‘copper bearing’) Tourmalines.
There is some debate as to whether or not the African gems should be called ‘Paraiba’ or if the name should strictly be reserved for those stones mined in Paraiba.
Description: Currently the most sort after and highly prized variety of the tourmaline family is this electric, neon blue Paraiba Tourmaline. Found in Brazil.
Hardness: 7 – 7.5on Mohs Scale
Fact: Features in the Guinness Book of records.