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Paraiba Tourmaline from Brazil

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog post, but today I finally have the time to tell the story. Friends, I’m excited to report that I have finally moved into a new home, HOORAY!!! The last three months were busy and exhausting, going room by room and packing up my life into boxes and bags took most of the days, especially when I’ve accumulated a lot of precious mineral specimens over the past decade +. Last night, I slept in the new home for the first time and I’m currently drinking coffee while writing this blog. This means I can FINALLY share the exceptional treasures I’ve acquired recently, for all the love and support from all of you :D

The Chinese mineral world had quieted down a bit during this past winter as it was difficult and almost impossible to get access to the mining areas and snow covered mountains. Now, as spring comes on, the Chinese markets are awakening, although very slowly due to the pandemic. And, as has been happening quite commonly in the mineral collecting world, some older collections are being “harvested” through good networks at the right timing. I, am a lucky girl who perhaps you’ll say “OMG, how did you get these!”. And these are.………the very precious copper-rich Paraiba Tourmaline from the Batalha Mine, Paraiba, Brazil!

Before we look at these beautiful specimens, let’s learn a bit more about Paraiba Tourmaline. First discovered in the 1980s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa who spent years digging in the hills of Paraiba in Brazil, on a hunch that something special was hidden there. When he set eyes on his first neon-bright Paraiba Tourmaline he must have known he had hit the jackpot. The uniqueness of the highly coveted gemstone quickly made its way to the shelves of the finest jewelry stores and caught the attention of the mineral world. Unlike other Tourmalines with their colors given by blend of manganese, iron, vanadium and chrome, the Paraiba Tourmaline owes its splendid color to copper element, making it a real treasure. Some of the pegmatities in this Brazilian district of Paraiba produce a rare variety of Elbaite Tourmaline (Cuprian) that has a unique blue green color. The examples usually consist of a Feldspar or Quartz matrix hosting the crystals.

It is impossible to acquire these non-existent Paraiba Tourmaline specimens on the market but I have been introduced to a senior collector who possessed a major old collection of this highly sought after gemstone, and now they are in my hands :D

These blue to green blue copper-bearing Paraiba Tourmalines are also discovered from deposits in Mozambique and Nigeria, but this first pocket of the Brazilian state of Paraiba remains the most renowned in the world although they are only available now on the secondary market where they fetch very high prices. Collectors are partial to color more than clarity so they are more accepting of inclusions, as revealed by the gemstone expert.

The Covid-19 crisis resulted in a myriad of challenges for us – from specimen acquisitions to troubled shipments – but even then, Heritage 1971 will continue to shine even brighter as one of the most trustworthy mineral dealer in the world.

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