Tourmaline question


If it sparkles - grab it
I noticed that too... Many (but not all) of the pieces that were previously labelled 'paraiba tourmaline' have now been renamed 'mozambique tourmaline'.

I'm wondering if this is part of Gems TV's new 'transparency initiative', prompted by the brouhaha over coated diamonds, filled rubies and BE diffused padparadscha sapphires. Maybe somebody (Richard Hughes?) has very properly decreed that they must be 'squeaky clean' about everything.

But I don't know; I'm only guessing.


New member
I thought paraiba tourmaline had to have a specific chemical composition (ie certain amount of copper etc) in order to be called paraiba. If it is slightly 'off' then it can't be called paraiba. However, I'm sure Meeshoo will be able to give you the correct answer.

Beady Belle

Well Fluffy, I can say with absolutely certainty, that there's £7.94 difference:mysmilie_17:


milk in our tea
I ordered the first ring on Fluffs posts last year, but I returned it as it was so pale in colour and had a huge window. It was called a PT at the time


VIP Shopper
Dingbat is spot on and it goes a bit further than that also.

The name "Paraiba Tourmaline" has been used very very widely and loosely by most shopping channels. A true Paraiba not only has to have the right chemical composition but also should have the "glow" (and purists will argue should only come from Brazil also).

Only a tiny percent of what is for sale in the UK would be classed as a Paraiba in all honesty. Occasionally you'll see one on one of the channels but very rarely. Paraiba Tourmaline is now extremely difficult to get hold of (and I'm not talking about wishy washy tourmaline being called Paraiba).

The majority of Tourmaline on sale now are either plain old nice looking Tourmalines or have a copper content and are called Cuprian Tourmalines. Although some of the Cuprians are very very pretty, they're not of Paraiba quality although some look as good BUT the majority don't have the "glow". Of course, they also don't command the prices of top quality Paraibas. If I look at my collection objectively, I can honestly say that I have a number that were sold as Paraibas but in all honesty are just very nice Cuprians.

Top quality Paraibas have an "in yer face" colour and look almost false because their colour is so strong and bright. The glow is unmistakable also. It will glow under all lighting conditions - especially dim light. So in your kitchen put your hand under the table - does your "Paraiba" glow like it has an internal light source? I have some photos of this is anybody wants to see them.

Unfortunately, there are indications that some Tourmalines are being irradiated to improve their colour and, horror of horrors, there has been some recent speculation of treatments to improve colours. This is very new however so I wouldn't necessarily worry about it at the moment.

In all honesty, in the past 2 years, I've probably seen 2 pieces spread out over all the channels that would pass as a Paraiba (just). The others are either Cuprian Tourmalines or just nice looking Tourmalines.

It's good to see that GemsTV are marketing their Tourmalines correctly! :mysmilie_696:


Retired - Don't Quite Fit
If this integrity could now trickle down to the frontline salesmanship, we could be talking. xxxxx


Missing my friends
:mysmilie_687: Meesh

.... and, yes please, I'd love to see some "under the table" pics. :mysmilie_61:

Totally agree, Argey.


VIP Shopper
Hi Fluff,
just wondered if you got my PM re cuprian tourmaline that we were discussing?
Thanks to Meeshoo for above post, it certainly is interesting to know what all the definitions are for the different tourmalines as i'm currently trying to identify something i've bought and am unsure of!


VIP Shopper
Well I am in the camp of 'if it is called Paraiba then that is where it should be from' I still think it was a bit of a con, sailing on the back of the fact a proper Paraiba, from Paraiba in Brazil, commands a lot of dosh! :mysmilie_11:


VIP Shopper
There is such a split as to what should be called Paraiba. However .....

"CIBJO, the international committee that establishes terminology standards (bet you didn't know there was such a thing) in its 2005 Blue Book has recognized "Paraiba Tourmaline" as an acceptable trade name for cuprian tourmaline regardless of the source."

Extract from blog by Richard Wise (author of Secrets of the Gem Trade)


VIP Shopper
Incredible, does this not undermine the value of a Paraiba actually from Paraiba, I wouldn't be happy if I owned one. :mysmilie_698:


VIP Shopper
Actually the price difference isn't as big as you may think!

Not all Brazilian Paraiba is good. It may have the absolute title but it isn't necessarily better.

Both Brazil and Mozambique have produced gems of all qualities. In terms of value, a top quality Mozambique stone will always sell for more than one of less quality from Brazil.

At the end of the day it's about quality and not the name per se. The value of the gem will be in the quality not in the locality.

Having said that, a top top top quality Brazilian Paraiba will command a premium if you compare it to a top top top quality Mozambique Paraiba but to see that difference and to have the premium applied you're really talking about stones that sell for more than we can dream of!!!

There's actually so little good material on the market at the moment that the price is being forced up (which is good news for anybody that has a good quality gem)!

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