Lot 88

Designed as a flexible row of fancy-shaped diamonds, each suspending a drop-shaped paraiba tourmaline to a flower design cluster of fancy-shaped diamonds, mounted in gold. Stamped '750'.

Paraiba tourmaline: 18.88 carats
Diamond: 11.8 carats
Gross weight: 33.25 grams

Tracing their origins to the state of Para??ba in Brazil, these rare, neon-blue stones are a fairly recent addition to the tourmaline family. Also known as cuprian elbaite, this variety of tourmalines gains its vibrant colour - seen in lots 88, 89 and 90 - from the presence of copper, which illuminates them from within. The colour only manifests when the gemstone is cut, and a higher concentration of copper results in the coveted electric blue tone.

Paraiba tourmalines were discovered in the 1980s by an ambitious and persistent gem miner named Heitor Dimas Barbosa, who did not know what he was looking for but was convinced that he would find something "completely different." It took five years, but the search was eventually rewarded - signs of a unique new tourmaline were found in the "tangle of galleries, shafts andtunnels." ("Paraiba Tourmaline," International Coloured Gemstone Association, gemstone.org, online) The first handful of these spirited blue tourmalines, in a colour the world had never witnessed before, was brought up from the mines into the daylight in the autumn of 1989.

The difficulty in mining Para??ba tourmalines is what makes these gems among the most expensive in the world. They are mined mostly by hand, with manual tools like wedges and sledgehammers, as other tools and machines could cause damage to the crystals. In Brazil, the stones in the rough are often found in small, thin veins. Over the years, these mines have been largely exhausted, making Para??ba tourmalines even more rare and valuable.

However, as recently as 2003, similar cupriferous tourmalines were unearthed in the copper- rich mountains of Mozambique and Nigeria. Uncannily similar to those mined in Brazil, with only minute chemical differences, the discovery of these natural wonders was welcome news for connoisseurs. The name Para??ba, which stood for the region the tourmaline came from, has now become synonymous with these luminous blue gemstones, which are the birthstones for the month of October.

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 88 of 174  

15-16 OCTOBER 2019

Rs 18,00,000 - 22,00,000
$25,715 - 31,430



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