To understand Paraiba, we first need to acquaint with the term ‘tourmaline’. Considering none of us here are a not top-notch gemologist, we have put it across in the simplest way: Tourmaline is a mineral which is a combination of many elements like lithium, iron, magnesium and sodium etc. The gemstone primarily has all the colours of the rainbow or is absolutely colourless. It gets its name from Sinhalese words (the language used by a tribe in Sri Lanka) turamali (mixed coloured stones) and toramalle (something little of the earth). The pundits of gemstones are smitten by tourmalines like dravite and schorl, which are always high in demand.
Paraiba is the most precious and rare gemstone which falls into the category of tourmaline. Brazil is its home country and the stone majorly reflects shades of blue like neon blue and bluish green along with shades of violet, purple, red and pink. Today, paraiba is considered to be a real gem (no wordplay here) in its fraternity. So, what makes this gemstone such a special and dear possession? Well, the answer lies in the rich saga of the gemstone which started sometime in the late 1980s and continued to rule our hearts with its surprising elements. Read on.
- Heiter Dimas Barbosa (who is clearly the father of Paraiba) worked to find Mina da Batalha, a gem assumed to be hidden deep under the mountains of Brazil. Heiter found himself digging the huge mountains in a quest to find it. During his expedition, he came across a stone which shines. This stone came to be known by the name of Paraiba.
- It was discovered in the year 1980 in the state of Paraiba in Brazil. Earlier, it was known by the name of Cuprian Elbaite.
- Most Paraibas are found in the shades of turquoise and majestic blue-green. The stone literally shines in the dark.
- The stone was introduced to the world in the early 1990s at a gem show.
- The rarity of the stone can be found from the fact that one Paraiba stone is mined for every 10,000 diamonds.
- It is one of the birthstones for the month of October.
- Paraiba is a gemstone for the sun signs Libra and Scorpio.
- The gemstone contains large amounts of copper and magnesium which makes the stone glow. The other minerals present in the stone are iron and lithium.
- Paraiba is the only tourmaline which has deposits of copper.
- A carat of extremely rare Paraiba can cost more than a lakh.
- Apart from Brazil, the gemstone is mined in Mozambique, Nigeria, Afghanistan, East Africa and Madagascar.
- It ranks 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness.
- Due to the multiple colours, it is found in, the Egyptian folklore believes that the stone might have passed through a rainbow while it was taking its journey from the sky towards the Earth.
- The high content of gold has been found in a few Paraibas. The data by the German Foundation for Gemstone Research revealed that the amount of gold in Paraiba sometimes equals 8.6 parts per million.
- Paraiba is believed to cure anxiety, heart diseases, and blood poisoning. It is also used to relax one’s mind and body.