The Commercialization of Paraíba

At this year’s Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference in Tucson, Ariz., one of the main topics of conversation was whether the term “Paraíba” should be used to describe anything other than tourmalines from Paraíba, Brazil. Paraíba is the Brazilian state where trace elements of copper and manganese found their way into the chemistry of tourmalines in the São José da Batalha Mine, creating, when heated, neon electric blues and greens. Since their discovery, other copper manganese tourmalines have been found, not only in the state of Paraíba, but also in Nigeria and recently in Mozambique. Some believe that tourmalines from other localities don’t look like Paraíba tourmalines and should not be labeled as such. Others feel that the colors are very similar, if not the same, and should be called Paraíba. And some don’t even carry tourmaline but use the name as a desc
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