This is one of the most sought after gemstones on the planet.
The stunning Paraiba Tourmaline ranges from neon, swimming pool blue to an electric greenish blue. Its name is derived from the Paraiba State in Brazil, where it was first discovered.
What makes this gem so different to other Tourmalines is the presence of copper and, to a lesser extent, manganese. The copper within the gem is what makes it appear to glow and this almost neon effect is truly a delight to see.
Due to its range of intense colours, which are similar to that of a peacock, this most spectacular gem is known in the gem trade as the “Peacock Gem”.
Crystal Healers have already embraced this new gemstone and believe its powers are the greatest of all Tourmalines. Many state that the different hues have different abilities: these include promoting general wellbeing, increasing self- motivation and intensifying the desire to help and support others.
The Paraiba story would make a great film and would provide an even better sequel. Its original discovery was back in 1989, due to the work of Heitor Barbosa. This lone gem hunter was convinced that under a tiny little hill measuring no more than 400 by 200 metres and standing only 60 metres high lay a new gemstone waiting to be discovered. He told his close friends that he was not digging just to extract a quantity of gems which had already been discovered in this famous gem area of Brazil, but was going to make a new discovery.
He first cut ground in 1981 and worked relentlessly for many years without success. Then, in the autumn of 1989, while he was at home recovering from an illness, a tiny amount of a new Tourmaline was discovered by his assistants. For several years after, the small hill (later renamed Paraiba Hill) was trawled in an attempt to find more Paraiba, but it was mainly unsuccessful.
The sequel took place in Nigeria in 2001, when a discovery of Tourmaline was found to exhibit the same optical beauty of Paraiba and after scientific examination was found to contain copper. Bingo! The plot then gathered pace and the gem industry ferociously debated whether the gem should be called Paraiba Tourmaline, or whether a new name should be given as it was found in a completely different continent. In the end, it was decided that because it is of the same chemical composition and therefore very difficult for gem experts to distinguish between the two, it would be simpler to allow it to take on the Paraiba title. The film thus came to an end, and as the camera drew back, we realise that these two films, both shot on location, on different continents, have been delicately scripted to succinctly confirm the theory of continental drift.