Making money on Paraiba when all you have is from Mozambique.

In promoting the Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba as coming from Brazil, being part of the original mine’s production and being even an authentic Paraiba is reaching a new low in probably confusing the public. This largest of all “Paraiba” tourmaline obviously came from Mozambique and should be called a paraiba type tourmaline or cuprian tourmaline, Paraiba. But I have been told that the dealers do not like paraiba type as a name and I don’t think that the world’s largest cuprian tourmaline, name, would get the same press or price.

Millions of dollars have been spent keeping Brazilian material undiluted by African material. And the technology is available, but in a single stroke of hype, the Paraiba story gets more mixed up and confusing.

Oh and by the way the ECD tourmalines weighs 191.87 and the largest reported piece of gem rough from the original and still superior mine was 175 carats. The day I can cut an almost 200 carat stone from a 175 carat piece of rough will be in my dreams.


About Bruce Fry

I was born in Summit, NJ in 1947 and graduated from Summit High School in 1966. I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1970 and after spending another year in graduate school, I left to see the world of Brazil. After spending some more time discovering myself, I ended up working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 32 years as an Air Quality Engineer in the Department of Environmental Protection. I retired in 2007 and took up faceting gemstones again after a long hiatus that reached back to my twenties. I had started cutting cabochons when I was 13 and bought my first faceting machine when I was 15, but ran out of money and time until I retired. My great love in gemology is tourmaline and the collection presented here represents my effort to get as much beauty and variety in the colors of tourmaline as I can. I was particularly lucky in being able to get unheated cuprian tourmaline before copper was discovered in gem grade tourmaline from Mozambique.
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