The Paraiba stone, from the tourmaline family, is a rare, semi-precious colored gemstone discovered most recently. A tourmaline, (the rubellite, for instance, is also a member of the tourmaline family), is a crystalline boron silicate mineral known for its bright neon colors.
The Paraiba got its name from the region in Brazil where it was first discovered in the 1980s. Its colors range from bright blue to green. In the early 2000s, tourmalines with qualities very similar to the Paraiba stone were discovered in Nigeria and Mozambique.
The variation between stones found in Brazil and those found in Africa are in their mineral composition and not noticeable to the naked eye. Later, by consensus, the international gemstone industry decided that the name Paraiba Tourmaline describes all such stones, irrespective of their origin.
In the short time since the discovery of the Paraiba, the stone has become one of the most sought-after gemstones, particularly because of its distinctively bright neon colors, which determine their value. Their amazing bright blue and green amazing hue and the newness of their discovery helped fetch prices of up to $20,000 per carat.
Paraiba tourmalines appear in a wide variety of color tones such as bluish-green, greenish-blue, blue, green, and violet, while in the current market they have become extremely rare. Speaking of rarity, there is only a single Paraiba mined, for every 10,000 diamonds mined. Their prices depend largely on color, clarity, and size, with some light-colored neon blue stones of 1 carat to 3 carats selling for $600 to $3,000 a carat, while 5-carat to 8-carat stones are priced $5,000 to $12,000 per carat.
Gems from Mozambique with good quality and color command a per-carat price of $10,000. Instead, per carat prices of Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines of 1 carat to 1.5 carats range from $15,000 to $20,000, depending on clarity and color.
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