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Gemstones Jewellery Guide Stone

A Buying Guide for Paraiba Tourmaline (Part-II)

Popular for its stunning hues, tourmaline is a modern and colourful gemstone. There are many varieties available so you can easily add the gem to your collection. In Part I of this two-part blog post, we mentioned some things you should know about it before you set out to purchase one. Read on and find out more.


It’s Origin

It is true that a spectacular material can originate from any source, but Brazilian stones are known to be sold at premium rates. The origin of tourmalines can be verified by a quantitative chemical analysis, which is available at most of the major gem laboratories. If any stone is advertised to have a Brazilian origin, then there should be laboratory reports confirming it. Paraiba tourmalines originating in Brazil are usually small and have poor clarity but with excellent colour. Its Nigerian counterparts are known to exhibit less saturated colour, and Mozambique produces high-clarity ones which are large and have excellent colour.

Colours Available

Tourmalines are available in all the colours present in the rainbow. When buying the crystal, see it under several kinds of lightings as most of the gems will display some form of an alteration in its colour. Here are certain things you should know about the different colours.

  • Blue
    The blue and blue-green hues are known to come from copper or iron in the crystal structure. Although rare, the blue hues are the most popular colour of the crystal. The gemological name of the blue tourmalines is indicolite. The term, generally, refers to tourmalines that are coloured by iron. They can also be blue-green, blue and greyish blue in colour. The costliest gems exhibit saturated colour and medium tones. Before purchasing, ask about the treatments done as indicolites are commonly known to receive radiation and heat treatments.
  • Pink
    The pink tourmaline is loosely referred to as rubellite and is used to refer to stones ranging from pink to red. Though it is tempting to compare it to ruby, it is not accurate to do so. Since tourmalines can alter their colours under different kinds of lighting sources, a rubellite which has a fine, ruby-like red hue may look dull in luminous light. The lighting can also alternatively bring out purple hues. Whereas this may be undesirable in rubies, the slight shift to purple hues looks attractive in rubellite.
    Gems with a raspberry hue are considered to be the finest of their variety. The crystals show slight to moderate purple hues and have an eye-catching hue, making it a prized gem.
  • Green
    The green tourmaline is known as verdelite and is a variety of elbaite which has primary hues of green. They are the most common colour seen in gem-quality tourmaline and can be seen with blue-green and yellow-green hues. The ones which come closest to fine emerald in colour and have medium-dark tones with secondary blue hues and mimic blue-green Paraiba tourmalines, with medium tones and intense saturation, hold the highest value. Lighter tones, like mint green, are also quite popular.
  • Chrome
    Certain green tourmalines have chromium and even vanadium, which can give out a lovely green hue. The very same elements are known to colour emeralds and tsavorite garnets. So, it isn’t surprising that the colour of fine chrome tourmaline resembles the green of a high-quality emerald. The crystals have a very strong saturation and slightly bluish green to pure green hues. The yellow varieties hold less value.
  • Others
    Purple, orange and yellow hues of tourmaline are extremely rare. If you have to evaluate the price of any of these, remember that the purer the hue, the higher the price will be.

Tourmaline is available in many different colours, and each one is named individually. Although it has never been synthesized, there are a number of limitations that exist. The value can vary enormously, but there is a great selection of options available from the family which can suit all budgets.

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