One of the most sought-after gems this year, the Paraiba tourmaline, gives off a glow like no other in the latest jewellery collections
ourmalines come in a rainbow of colours, but the vivid, almost neon glow of the Paraiba is unique. Discovered in the 1980s in the Paraiba region of Brazil, these incandescent stones are prized for their rarity and electric-blue hue, which is the result of copper impurities. They’ve also been discovered in Africa since 2003, particularly in Mozambique and Nigeria.
According to the Gemmological Institute of America, no other tourmaline, even prized rubellite reds or chrome greens, is valued so highly. Prices for superb quality Paraibas of 3 to 5 carats can top US$10,000 per carat.
Among the designers loving Paraiba tourmalines this season is Giampiero Bodino, who creates one-of-a-kind pieces at his Villa Mozart base in Milan. His Angelica necklace is an impressive piece of high jewellery with more than 326 carats of Paraiba tourmalines from Africa, framed with diamonds.
Fresh from Baselworld, Chopard’s haute joaillerie collection showcases a 41.57-carat oval Paraiba tourmaline set in a white gold ring with a slender lacework frame of diamonds. De Grisogono presents the Grappoli high jewellery watch with a snow-set dial and more than 70 briolette-cut Paraiba tourmalines weighing about 42 carats.
At Tiffany & Co, the 2015 edition of the Blue Book collection includes a pair of platinum earrings with diamonds and tourmalines, while Italian jeweller Brumani’s Baobab collection features rings and earrings set with the stone and mixed with diamonds and aquamarine.