The Paraiba seems to be glowing from within and to this day it is the only transparent blue and green colored gem that has this distinctive luminosity, vibrancy and durability. Their spirited turquoise, blue and green colors are so alive that they are often referred to as electric or neon. This specific luminosity is caused by the presence of copper and manganese, elements that are rarely found together.
Paraiba Tourmalines were originally discovered in 1987 by Heitor Dimas Barbosa in the Batalha mine, today named Heitorita. This mine is situated in the Federal Brazilian state of Paraiba and as this is where Barbosa made his momentous discovery of these gems, the first place that these gems were found, it seems only fitting that they should bear that region’s name.
In 2001 Paraibas were also found in Nigeria and Mozambique. These African stones are often larger in size with fewer inclusions and the Nigerian Paraibas tend to have a high lead content, appearing less vivid, than their Brazilian counterparts. The stones from Mozambique, characteristically are beautifully gentle in color.
Hence, it is therefore not the country of origin, but the presence of copper that classifies these gems as Paraiba. They remain an extremely rare and coveted gemstone, a true connoisseur’s gem.