Idar-Oberstein Points the Way

The Intergem show, held annually in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, is usually a reliable indicator of what will be available at the Tucson gem shows in February. Intergem 2001 hosted 110 exhibitors and more than 2,500 trade visitors from 38 countries. Here's what was hot: There were considerable quantities and top qualities of Nigerian "Paraíba look-alike" tourmalines, the most talked-about gem at the show. According to reports, tourmalines from this new deposit—like those from Paraíba, Brazil—contain traces of copper which, when heated, create the neon electric colors for which Paraíbas are famous. Some called the new African tourmaline "Indigo," reportedly for the mine that produces it, says Constantin Wild of Constantin Wild & Co., Idar. "The color is somewhat similar to original Paraíba, but more pastel blue [aquamarine color]," he notes. Most suppliers
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