JOGS International Gem Show April 7-18 Tucson Expo Center
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 Post subject: Paraiba tourmaline a semi precious gemstone!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:40 pm 
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:33 am
Posts: 833
Location: Mars PA
When I was in school in the "old days" and we had a writing assignment about some subject, we were taught to go to the library and find at least a few different books or articles on the subject It was felt that that would provide enough independently provided information to write a good paper on a subject. If you look to the internet as your library of information about Paraiba tourmaline you will find a plethora (you can not be wrong with a word like that) of repetitions of partially wrong to nearly completely wrong "facts". (There may be a few sites with completely correct information if they don't say too much.)

After sifting threw the wreckage of didactic sites dedicated to regurgitating other source's "facts" about Paraiba tourmaline, I decided to check my favorite "market driven independent pricing" guide to gems. I wanted to check if there were ANY varieties of colored gemstone, common in the trade, that had a higher price per carat than top quality Paraiba tourmaline of the same size. (You know the stuff that glows in the dark and use to come from a pure white hill in the middle of one of the poorest places on earth in Brazil.)

The first thing you will find about the Paraiba tourmaline listing is that it only goes up to 2.99 carats in size for all grades. (He just didn't make them in Brazil like He did in Africa.) And I personally doubt that the trade people, supplying data for the listing see very many (any) top quality Paraiba tourmaline gems between 2.00 and 2.99 carats for sale, in the recent past.

Now the search goes on. You have to be sure to keep to the same top size fraction as the Paraiba tourmaline, since all the other "precious" colored gemstones have prices for larger sized gems. Lets see, if we start out with ruby, the only listing that beats out our champion is Corundum-Ruby, Unenhanced, Attributed to Burma. I am sorry for the king of colored gemstones that come from Non-Origin Specific places. You may be truly great, but you just weren't born in the right place. Oh by the way, you came in at only about half the price of our champion, the semi precious tourmaline variety called Paraiba. Now there I go writing semi precious to describe tourmaline. Could it be that I have read over and over again that tourmaline is a semi precious gemstone even though the trade has tried to drop the term? Could the designation of all tourmaline as only semi precious, echos from the past, preclude Paraiba tourmaline from being a star in the myriad lists of the top ten of everything under the sun?

I will leave the answers to the last questions for you to research (on the inter net), so we can move on to other colored gemstones that might be more "precious" than Paraiba tourmaline. The rest of the corundum gang, including the unpronounceable Padparadscha, don't even come close (in the comparable size category). Alexandrite gets a bit huffy and blushes when price scanned, but can not hide the fact that it just doesn't rate that high. Now it is left to the big green one to save the day for the colored part of the big four. Sorry emerald, even in the 8.00 to 14.99 carat range, you are only about half the price per carat. This is for emerald that is Non_origin specific. There isn't a listing for just Colombian, but I doubt it would prevail.

Even though tanzanite only comes from ONE deposit, I did not bother looking up its price. It is not even on the graph of price per carat, it is so low when compared to our champion tourmaline. Maybe in a few more generations, after most of the nice tanzanites are destroyed in jewelry, it will be rare enough to be more valuable. Imperial jade (jadite) may have been bid up by the modern crop of Chinese billionaires, but deriving a price per carat from the sale of an historic piece or profoundly carved piece is not a reasonable way to compare prices. I included this last paragraph because these gems are a few of the hot numbers on the top ten lists, I have some feeling for. Most of the other gems are so rare that they are insignificant in the trade.

So you be the judge of the price of Paraibe tourmaline and its place in the firmament. Even if the inter net rehashes the past and gives out information freely and with little effort, don't be fooled into thinking that saying the same falsehood many times, makes it so.


Oh I just saw on you tube that tiny Paraiba is going for more money then tiny diamond at the last Tuscon show. And I bet it was much harder to get too.

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