The Definitive Guide to the World of Color in Tourmaline Gemstones

The Definitive Guide to the World of Color in Tourmaline Gemstones

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Tourmaline is a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gemstone can be found in a wide variety of colors.

Miscellaneous Tourmaline GEMSTONES

Cuprian Tourmaline

A significant percentage of tourmaline contains copper as a trace element. But tourmaline that is both gem quality and has enough copper in it, to effect its color, is rare. The trade has adopted the name cuprian (from its copper content.) for this type of tourmaline in any color. The name Paraiba has come to be used for cuprian tourmaline within a limited color range of green to blue to purplish blue with cyan color being the most undesirable.. Paraiba tourmaline is named after the original discovery location in Brazil, but can now be used for cuprian tourmaline, of appropriate color, from any location.

My collection of cuprian/paraiba tourmaline has a wide range of colors because I was actively looking for unusually colored tourmaline when the important Mozambique site was discovered. I have confirmed the copper content of both tourmaline I purchased as cuprian and many gems that were not bought as cuprian with my spectrometer.

I compiled this list of cuprian/paraiba tourmaline gems from my collection because of their special value and the interest the public has in this material. The same gems are also found in their appropriate color categories on this site. I think you would be hard pressed to come up with a better selection of both heated and unheated cuprian tourmaline, with some significant paraiba gems being standouts.


World of Color in Tourmaline