Gorgeous Paraiba-type Tourmaline in Rose Gold RingJanuary 8th, 2016 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Our Paraiba-type Tourmaline & Diamond 14 Karat Rose & White Gold Ring is truly one-of-a-kind. The centerpiece of the design is a gorgeous oval brilliant cut Cuprian Tourmaline. It measures ~10.70 x 7.13 x 5.24 mm and weighs 2.56 carats. The gem is perfectly cut and exhibits a delicate light mint green.
Cuprian Tourmalines are a rare variety of Tourmaline that was first discovered in the 1990’s in the Paraiba province of Brazil. The tourmaline crystals from the mine were attractive dark purple and magenta colors. It was common practice to heat red tourmalines in Brazil to intensify the color. When these crystals were heated, some were transformed into exquisite vivid blues and greens. The gems with intense bright blue and green colors electrified the gem world, evoking such descriptive names as “Windex Blue” and “Neon Green”.
It was quickly determined that the tourmalines from Paraiba had an unusual chemical makeup in that they had copper as one of their components. The copper is responsible for the bright colors.
The original Paraiba source was a small deposit that was quickly mined out. Once people realized how rare these gems were, the values for Paraiba tourmalines skyrocketed, generating intense interest from collectors around the world. Soon after the original Brazilian discoveries, two new sources of copper bearing tourmalines were discovered in Africa, first in Nigeria and then in Mozambique.
Like the Paraiba Tourmalines, these African stones were various shades of purple and magenta when mined. Like the Paraiba material, some of these responded to gentle heating by turning into vivid blues and greens. Unlike the Paraiba source, these mines produced much more material and much larger crystals. The colors can be similar, but the rarity factor is not as important.
Because of their extreme rarity, copper bearing Tourmalines that can be documented to be the original Paraiba material can bring astronomical prices if their color and quality is Extra Fine. Two carat Extra Fine Tourmalines certified to be from the Paraiba source by qualified gemological laboratories can start around $30,000 per carat wholesale! A two carat Extra Fine Cuprian Tourmaline from Africa starts around $8000 per carat wholesale– still very valuable and rare, but not like the Paraiba stones.
Because of the extreme values of the Paraiba material, it’s been a controversy within the gem trade over the naming of the African material. The consensus is that the African stones can be called Cuprian Tourmalines (preferred) or Paraiba-type Tourmalines.
We have assumed that our gem is African and have not had it tested by a gemological laboratory. We purchased the stone along with three others from a person who bought a box at a storage unit auction. The cuts were very ordinary and somewhat heavy, so we had the stones recut for brilliance and beauty.
The stone in our ring has a light color that is not as vivid as some of the colors we’ve seen, but is unusual and lovely. Even though the cut and clarity are excellent, we grade it at the low end of Good, 5 on a scale of 10, with a current wholesale value of $1500 per carat.
The ring is a new original work designed by Jim and Jenny Sweaney, handcrafted and finished by the Mardon team. The design has elements of the Art Deco style. We think you can compare our craftsmanship with any of the top designer.
The ring is cast from 14 karat Rose and White gold, and is marked 14K along with our makers mark. It weighs a substantial 7.3 grams.
The white gold center section is bead set with 42 round brilliant diamonds ranging from 1.5 to 1.0 mm. The diamonds are of VS clarity, F to G color, excellent cut .
The rose gold ring shank is our patented Mardon shank– the wide bottom adds comfort and wearability by counter balancing the top so the ring won’t spin, and the extra gold adds sturdiness and years of wear to the piece.
This ring is a fine example of the unique original one-of-a-kind jewelry Mardon is noted for. We use our design and jewelry making skills to make pieces for our showroom stock and for custom pieces. Stop by our shop and browse- we have a fine collection of gems ready for setting. We’ll be happy to show you how the magic happens!