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Sparkling Sea Jewels: Aquamarine & Paraiba Tourmaline

Sparkling Sea Jewels: Aquamarine & Paraiba Tourmaline

The sky blue of aquamarine and the bright neon of Paraiba tourmaline are two of the most stunning shades of blue in the gemstone world. Both stones have unique histories and chemical compositions, but they share a similar beauty that makes them both highly sought-after for jewelry. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious statement piece or a subtle luster, aquamarine and Paraiba tourmaline offer something for everyone. In this article, we will explore these two magnificent stones in greater detail.

The natural colors of Paraiba tourmaline and aquamarine are dazzling! 

While both – Paraiba tourmaline and aquamarine, gemstones have similar hues, they each have unique characteristics that set them apart. The Paraiba tourmaline is a type of copper-bearing tourmaline that has an intense teal color with hints of blue and green. Its electric hue is considered to be one of the rarest colors found in nature and its rarity makes it valuable among gemstone collectors. Aquamarine, on the other hand, has a lighter blue shade with grey or greenish undertones. It is less saturated than Paraiba tourmaline but still offers stunning colors that make it popular in jewelry designs. 

The highly prized Paraiba tourmalines have an intense, neon blue with a medium tone, strong saturation, and a slight green undertone that make them especially desirable. Due to their rarity, Paraiba tourmalines can fetch extremely high prices, making them a popular choice for collectors and investors alike. Compared to Paraiba tourmaline, aquamarine has a much more limited color palette. Most aquamarine stones are very pale and come in shades of blue to greenish-blue. 

Aquamarine Vs Paraiba Tourmaline: Source and Origin 

Aquamarine and Paraiba tourmaline come from different families and possess unique characteristics that can help a shopper differentiate between them. 

Paraiba tourmalines belong to the tourmaline family. Discovered in the late 1980s, Paraiba tourmaline takes its name from the Brazilian state of Paraiba, where it was first unearthed. At the beginning of the 2000s, a remarkable discovery was made when copper-bearing elbaite tourmalines were found in other regions besides their original origin. These new deposits of Paraiba tourmaline were located in Brazil, Nigeria, and Mozambique. The consequences of this find were extraordinary as it brought a range of vibrant colors to the market including neon blues and greens which had previously been rare. The most common species of tourmaline is elbaite. It is found in a variety of colors, including blue, green, and pink. Elbaite can contain numerous trace elements such as copper and manganese. When the amount of these elements is particularly high, we get the rare and valuable Paraiba tourmaline. 

Aquamarines belong to the beryl family. The most important source of aquamarine is Brazil, but it is also found in East Africa, Asia, and even the United States. Aquamarines from Brazil are some of the highest quality available on today’s market with their clear color and clarity that make them ideal for jewelry creation. Pure beryl is colorless and only acquires its color when exposed to trace elements such as iron or chromium. Aquamarine is the name given to beryl that has been colored by iron impurities, producing a stunning crystal with an intense light blue-green hue. 

The major difference between Paraiba Tourmaline and Aquamarines is Size! 

While both stones are highly coveted for their beautiful colors and hues, there is one major difference between them: SIZE. Paraiba Tourmalines tend to be much smaller than Aquamarines. 

Paraiba tourmalines are found mainly as small crystal fragments that weigh under 1 carat each; however, African sources of the same material have been known to produce slightly larger sizes. The average Paraiba stone measures around 2 mm in length while Aquamarine typically ranges from 10 mm to 20 mm in size. That makes it difficult to find larger Paraiba tourmalines which add to their desirability and value. Larger aquamarines are much more common as they can be found with ease in many jewelry stores or online retailers. 

Aquamarines are not only known for their beautiful blue and green hues, but also for their exceptionally large size. These eye-clean crystals can be found in sizes up to hundreds of carats, making them a prized gemstone among jewelry lovers. However, it is important to note that when looking at Paraiba tourmalines, color is usually more important than size. It means that even if a gemstone is smaller in size, its vibrant blue-green hue can still make it more desirable than a larger stone with less impressive coloring.  

Aquamarine and Paraiba Tourmaline have excellent durability. 

On the Mohs hardness scale, Paraiba tourmaline is 7 to 7.5, while aquamarine is 7.5 to 8. The higher ranking on this scale means both are durable enough for everyday wear and tear, making them suitable materials for creating jewelry items such as rings, necklaces, and earrings. 

The extra durability of these gemstones gives peace of mind when purchasing jewelry with either one. Paraiba tourmaline is an especially special stone due to its unique bright blue color and copper undertones, making it highly sought after by many fashion-forward shoppers looking for something truly beautiful and eye-catching. 

When it comes to durability, aquamarine is far more resistant to light damage than its counterpart. While exposure to light does not affect aquamarine stones, they can still succumb to extreme heat or certain acids as easily as Paraiba tourmaline stones can. To ensure your aquamarines stay safe from heat and acid damage, avoid storing them near liquids or solvents or exposing them to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. 

Choosing between Aquamarine and Paraiba Tourmaline can be tricky! 

Both gems offer different vibes and have distinct characteristics worth exploring. Paraiba tourmaline is prized for its rarity, electric blue hues, and unique color saturation. It has become a popular choice in recent years due to its vibrant expression of color and rarity compared to other gems on the market. Aquamarine offers a cooler blue, often found in larger sizes than Paraiba tourmaline. Its affordability makes it an attractive option as well, but it lacks the depth regarded in Paraiba tourmaline’s hue. Whether you pick an aquamarine or Paraiba tourmaline will depend on your preferences, budget, and what style appeals to you most. 

Aquamarine and Paraiba Tourmaline: Price Comparison 

Aquamarine and Paraiba tourmaline have their set of unique qualities, yet when it comes to their price structure there is a key difference. Unlike a Paraiba tourmaline, whose value increases in line with its carat weight, an aquamarine’s price per carat stays relatively constant. 

When considering the purchase of either stone, it is important to understand how much you can expect to pay for each carat. Paraiba tourmalines are incredibly rare and as such demand higher prices for larger stones. The cost increases significantly with each additional carat gained; this means buying a 10-carat Paraiba tourmaline may be several times more expensive than purchasing smaller stones of equal quality. 

Large neon blue Paraiba tourmalines are among the rarest and most highly desired types of gemstones in the world. Found mainly in Brazil and Nigeria, these precious stones can fetch upwards of $50,000 per carat, making them one of the most expensive gems available on the market today. 

Aquamarine is a beautiful gemstone that has become increasingly popular in the jewelry industry. However, not all aquamarine stones are created equal. While smaller gems under 25 carats can be highly valuable due to their rarity and quality, larger stones may not be as sought after by buyers.⁠ The value of an aquamarine largely depends on the intensity of its color and hue as well as its clarity and size. A good quality stone may cost up to $1000 per carat, while lower-grade specimens will cost less. 

In conclusion, Aquamarine and Paraiba Tourmaline are stunning sea gems that deserve to be appreciated. 

Both have beautiful colors, and fascinating histories and are associated with positive attributes. Aquamarine is a great choice for jewelry because it is durable and affordable, while Paraiba tourmaline is a rarer gem with intense color. Both stones make lovely additions to any collection and can be enjoyed for years.

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Joseph Reoma

As the Managing Director of Elba Jewelry Design Center, my mission is to help you find your creative self in the design we make or the design you help us make for you.

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