The AGTA’s Gem Testing Center laboratory will now identify any cuprian elbaite tourmaline (tourmaline that contains trace amounts of copper as first discovered in Paraíba, Brazil) as Paraíba, regardless of country of origin.
Previously, GTC’s reports identified the gem material as “cuprian elbaite tourmaline,” and then only if requested, would perform an origin report.
“After extended discussions with clients, members of our industry and other laboratories we are instituting a new policy whereby all cuprian elbaite tourmaline will be identified on our reports as ‘paraíba tourmaline,’ ” the laboratory said in a statement. “This policy is consistent with widespread industry practice and has also been adopted into the guidelines of the LMHC.”
The LMHC, or Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee, is made up of seven international gemological laboratories, including the AGTA GTC.
If the gem was in fact from another origin, the report will state: “The variety name paraíba is derived from the locality in Brazil where it was first mined.” The information sheet, which will be on the AGTA Web site after June 1, contains more information regarding the color and the chemical composition of the gemstones.
If country of origin cannot be determined, the AGTA GTC will make the following comment: “Its geographical origin has not been determined and therefore could be from Brazil, Mozambique, Nigeria or another locality.”