Paraiba Tourmaline: Brazillian vs. African

Posted on October 23rd, 2013 in Paraiba Tourmaline, semi-precious gem stones by admin || No Comment

As we discussed in a previous post, The Paraiba label has transcended reference to region of origin for certain Tourmaline stones. Paraiba Tourmaline generally displays a number of defining attributes, but is mostly characterized by its unique blue and green coloring. The copper in the region has been found to be the catalyst to this special colorization through comparing Tourmaline samples from neighboring regions with significantly less copper within their source mine. More recently, with the interest in semi precious gem stones exponentially increasing around the world, prospectors have continued to find new examples of copper infused Tourmaline.

Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline

Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline

About a decade later, another large discovery of Tourmaline stones was found in a popular copper mining region of Nigeria. The African strain of Paraiba Tourmaline is usually less saturated and paler in nature than its Brazilian counterparts. Another discovery of copper infused Tourmaline stones located in Mozambique more closely resembles the color scheme and brightness found in the Brazilian stones, however, to this date, Paraiba Tourmaline (that actually originated in that region) is found to be the most uniform in brightness and color. So, the question remains, what is a better investment as a gemstone. Taking a look at color uniformity and average market prices, Brazilian Paraiba seems to hold value most effectively compared to African Paraiba.


The Gemological Institute of America

Posted on October 23rd, 2013 in Green Tourmaline, Tsavorite by admin || No Comment

The Gemological Institute of America has been, and continues to be, one of the largest forces in the unification of all aspects of gem research, education, classification, and collection. Founded in the early 1930s by Robert Shipley, the GIA’s goals were simple: to develop systems and methods to correctly classify and professionalize the industry. Since its inception, the GIA has become the premier resource for gem collectors, retailers, and scientist alike.

Tanzanite Gemstone

Tanzanite Gemstone

Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba Tourmaline

Among its most important milestones was the creation of the 4Cs and the international diamond grading system, which initiated a worldwide classification of diamonds. This idea then evolved into the GIA certification process. This process aims to certify as many gems as possible, from Green Tourmaline to Tsavorite Stones, through various characteristics such as clarity, carat, cut, and color, among other criteria. After decades of grading and certifying a vast array of gems, and even creating new technologies to help along the way, a GIA certification is now something that is sought after, and even required, by collectors of all types. It is now standard practice to check the status of a gem through the GIA to make sure every aspect of the gem is legitimate, from cut to area of origin. Color is now seen as the most important factor for a Gemstone and whether or not a particular gem can become certified–the gems pictured above are two of our finest examples of certified gems. Below is an example of what a genuine GIA Certification looks like!

paraiba gemstone

The Paraiba Region of Brazil

Posted on October 15th, 2013 in Paraiba Tourmaline, semi-precious gem stones by admin || No Comment

Nested within the coastal region of northeastern Brazil is the lush state of Paraiba. First inhabited by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century, Paraiba has long been known for its amazing conditions for growing and producing sugar. History remained fairly static as the region continued to produce large amounts of sugarcane into the 1900s.

semi precious gem stones


However, in the late 1980s, a prospector discovered a vein of semi precious gem stones, later known as Paraiba Tourmaline, and found them to be some of the highest quality of this crystal. In fact, the type of tourmaline that was first found in this region was such a fine vein of crystal that all other neon, copper-infused Tourmaline stones are labeled as Paraiba Tourmaline; regardless of the region of origin.



The Tanzanite Foundation

Posted on March 27th, 2012 in Tanzanite by || No Comment

The Tanzanite Foundation is a non-profit collective dedicated to promoting and protecting the rare gemstone called tanzanite. The gem tanzanite was


Zoisite-71124 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

discovered in the African nation of Tanzania in 1967, and it was not named “Tanzanite” until a year later, when Tiffany & Co. had exclusive rights to sell it. Today, the gem has become a popular item for both its uniqueness and color; the main hues for tanzanite are blue-violet or violet-blue. It was originally called “blue zoisite” because it is a member of the zoisite family, and it naturally comes in a brown or khaki color but goes through heat treatment to bring out the blue/violet color everybody loves. The Tanzanite Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting the gemstone tanzanite ethically, and they have local support set up that works to make a difference in the communities within the nation of Tanzania. Another thing that the Tanzanite Foundation does is help businesses start up their own tanzanite industry, so that more companies will sell the gemstone and promote it to the public.

The Tanzanite Foundation’s community support tries to make living better for those in Tanzania communities by motivating and promoting the demand for tanzanite. The projects that the Foundation has in the nation of Tanzania include schools, health and community centers, environmental rehabilitation, and mine site water supply. The Tanzanite Foundation supports 420 children by providing education for them in the Nasinyai Primary School system, and they also provide support for a medical clinic, a secondary school for children who are close to graduation, and a community center. The Foundation’s environmental rehabilitation program is the key priority for the Foundation because they fund projects that will regenerate the mining zones, and they help wildlife species return to their natural habitats. The Mine Site Water Supply Project is there to help bring fresh water to the communities that can be pumped daily, and 2,000 villagers and 5,000 heads of cattle have been provided with fresh water every day.

The Tanzanite Foundation Industry & Trade Support will help people grow their own tanzanite business, so that the gem will become popular and be promoted around the world. The Foundation will help new businesses customize their brochures with logos and store details, so that the information provided will help draw people to the tanzanite mining industry, with positive ramifications for the economy for Tanzania. As a result, those in Tanzania receive more income and have greater interest in their communities due to the Foundation’s support. The Tanzanite Foundation Industry & Trade Support works to help people start up their own gemstone businesses. First, the Foundation will help customize information about this precious gemstone in brochures for the new businesses, and these brochures will have logos and store details on them. Next, they provide tags that say, “Mark of Rarity” for every Tanzanite Foundation Authenticated Jewellery purchase made, so that the consumer knows that the tanzanite is authentic. Lastly, the Foundation provides training for employees on how to sell tanzanite products and what features and benefits result from buying tanzanite gems.

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