Long before copper was discovered in gem quality tourmaline from Mozambique, the rough for this gemstone came up on a special page on the dealers web pages. It was used to present newly arrived material, that missed the last set of pages and would have to wait around too long for the next set of pages. He did not have enough material to use it very often. All the rough pieces looked similar and I liked how they looked. I had to order one and I did. I was so impressed with this posted gemstone that was cut from the rough that I received, I order another piece. Boy was I pleased to get these really neon bright cyan gemstones. The dealer never had anything like that amount of the material again, though I saw a few smaller pebbles that I tried to get and mostly fail to connect with.
I felt that there was something fundamentally different about this tourmaline and copper came to mind. But powerful people had been looking for another location for “Paraiba” tourmaline all over the world and had not been very successful. so why should I be. The gemstone was universally accepted, enthusiastically and I waited, not wanting to spend money having it analyzed. In fact I waited long enough for me to get another exceptional tourmaline. This one turned out to be a strong reverse Alexandrite color changing tourmaline that came from Mozambique. It changed from violet in natural light to blue green in incandescent light. I had never heard of such a change and finally worked to have it submitted to the GIA for identification. It came back positive for copper, which was the first time that any laboratory had publicly announced that cuprian, paraiba type material came from Mozambique. The color changer was declared a new variety of Elbaite (tourmaline species) and I named it “Laurellite” in honor of my older daughter.
Excuse me for the digression, but this wonderfully extraordinarily bright cyan tourmaline was finally submitted to the GIA by a friend and found to be paraiba type also. I had exchanged this gemstone (without knowing it was cuprian) with him for gold work, but he sold it back to me for a bargain price because he is a decent fellow. (The gemstones value had gone up a great deal with the discovery that it was a cuprian, paraiba type gemstone.)
The 3.36 carat emerald cut gemstone is extraordinary with or without the hype about copper being a chromophore (coloring agent) in it. It is bright, even under sedate lighting levels and its color grabs people from anywhere in the tray. The gemstone is flawless, which is unusual with this type of material and has fine crystal. Frankly, the stone could not be better, even in tone, to me. Tone is the weakest point when comparing Mozambique paraiba type tourmaline with the original material from Brazil. It weighs 3.36 carats.