Investment gemstones


Traditionally, blue and green tourmaline has been graded using standards borrowed from ruby, sapphire, and emerald. Darker-toned stones (seventy-five to…
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Color gemstones

Emeralds ” Green ” where could they be found?

Emeralds are prized for their vivid green color and have been valued gemstones for centuries. They are often used in…
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Diamonds Natural or Lab-grown?

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Estate jewelry

Not all antique jewelry will appreciate in value, and the jewelry market can be subject to trends and fluctuations. To…
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Jewelry care

Jewelry care

Cleaning your jewelry is essential for several reasons: Maintaining Appearance: Over time, jewelry can accumulate dirt, oils, and other substances…
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Scottish pearls

Pearl fishing in Scotland, highlighting the role of pearls in shaping events, including the Roman invasion of Britain. It underscores the decline of pearl-bearing mussels due to industrialization and pollution, while also emphasizing Scotland’s conservation efforts.

These mussels have been forming pearls in Scotland’s waters for hundreds of thousands of years, closely tied to river ecosystems. The Summer Walkers, a group in the Scottish Highlands, were skilled pearl fishers, harvesting pearls by identifying the best mussel locations based on river ecology.

However, overfishing and the quest for pearls led to mussel bed depletion. Even today, conservation challenges persist. Climate change and pollution threaten these mussels and their habitats.

At Paraiba, a new variety of tourmaline was found that derived its color from minute amounts of copper and gold. The combination of these two trace elements yielded a medium-toned (forty-five to sixty percent) blue to green gem of unrivaled saturation.

Traditionally, blue and green tourmaline has been graded using standards borrowed from ruby, sapphire, and emerald. Darker-toned stones (seventy-five to eighty-five percent) have been the most sought after.

However, the hottest Paraiba colors are not sapphire-like or emerald-like dark primary hues, but vivid pastel hues in the blue to green range with tonal values between forty-five and sixty percent. Terms like “neon,”
“Caribbean blue,” and “electric green” aptly describe the gems of Paraiba. Within a year of the discovery, prices of Paraiba stones over a carat escalated from several hundred to several thousands of dollars per carat, prices that would have been unimaginable just a year before. Paraiba produced darker-toned (eighty to eighty-five percent) stones with a seventy-five percent primary hue of blue and a twenty percent secondary hue of green that resembled sapphires from Australia and Thailand. These stones, among the rarest and most sought after tourmaline variety, the so-called sapphire-blue indicolite, were promptly heat treated. Those that turned a lighter-toned neon blue greatly increased in value.
Unfortunately the San José da Batalha mine was mostly exhausted within a few years but not before the tourmalines of Paraiba already had passed into legend.
The effect of this discovery was twofold: first, it focused attention on tourmaline and established a tourmaline aristocracy, giving the gem something it had previously lacked: snob appeal. Secondly, attention was shifted from the ruby-sapphire-emerald look-alike standard to a new appreciation of so-called Paraiba look-alikes. That is, medium-toned stones in the blue to green hues earned a new respect. Finally, tourmaline began to emerge from the shadows and to be appreciated for itself, as an important gemstone beautiful and valuable in its own right.

A few reddish purple stones were also produced which, due to their rarity, have not been given much attention. Blue Paraiba stones, which are more highly saturated and do not have the gray mask, might be described as a sort of “neon-aquamarine.” A visually pure blue between fifty and seventy-five percent is the most desirable.
Green Paraiba stones resemble a more vivid version of the lighter tones of emerald traditionally associated with the Nova Era area of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Green Paraiba tourmaline, the finest of which is a visually pure green between fifty and seventy-five percent tone, sells for substantially less than the blue variety.

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