King of Tourmaline: Neon Greenish-Blue Paraiba Tourmaline

Speaking of Germany, what’s the first thing that comes into your mind? Many of us may immediately think of football, automobile or beer. But The Value team is going to show you something that the Germans are also passionate about – gemstones and jewels.

During the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in June, we talked to two companies, Paul Wild and Constantin Wild respectively. With their wild love and affection in gemstones, they showcased a group of precious gemstones called Paraiba tourmalines. Ranging from sea green to turquoise blue, Paraiba is the most valuable variety among the tourmalines.

Tatjana Li|Managing Director (China) of Paul Wild

Constantin Wild|Helmsman of Constantin Wild

We visited two exhibitors, Paul Wild and Constantin Wild. They both enjoy great reputation in the industry for their strong affection for jewels. During our visit, we asked them to choose some highlights from their proud collection. Coincidentally, they both picked Paraiba tourmaline.

Gemstones can generally be divided into two groups. The first type is the precious stones, also known as the famous Big Four: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. All the others are semi-precious stones. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone. The stone gained the nickname of “The Ceylonese Magnet” due to its ability to acquire an electrical charge.

Constantin Wild

The tourmaline family features virtually every colour of the rainbow, except for a pure, radiant turquoise blue. Until the end of the 1980s, a gemstone pioneer discovered a special gemstone in the federal state of Paraíba in Brazil. It is the first that tourmaline crystals came to light in hues of a unique intensity, from emerald green to turquoise blue.

It is the element copper that produces these hues with their neon shine. The Paraiba tourmaline also contains manganese, and it is the interplay of these two elements that creates its colour range. Copper, in a high concentration, evokes the coveted blue, turquoise and green tones, whilst manganese brings out fine hues from red to violet. Given the wide range of colours available, jewel designers can create various combinations using Paraiba tourmalines alone.

Paraiba Set Carving Butterfly|Paul Wild

This Ocean collection covers most of the colours available in Paraiba tourmaline|Paul Wild

Studies found that Paraiba tourmaline was formed inside the Earth around 300 million years ago, back in the time when South America and Africa were connected. These two continents were separated due to the movement of the Earth’s crust. This is the reason why people later found Paraiba tourmalines in Nigeria and Mozambique, besides Paraíba in Brazil.

There are some differences between Paraiba tourmaline found in Brazil and those in Africa. Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines rarely weigh more than five carats. They come in different colour tones, including purple and violet. While those in Africa are often found weighing five carats, mostly in the colour of green-blue.

It has only been 30 years since Paraiba tourmaline was first unearthed. Yet, it quickly gained popularity and became the most valuable variety among the tourmalines. The market price was consistently rising, but it has slowed down in recent years. Over the past few years, Paraiba tourmaline has been favoured by Asian women in particular. So when you visit the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in the coming September, you can take a look at these special gemstones.