What is a Paraiba Tourmaline?

I first became entranced with the Paraiba tourmaline a couple years ago — its radiant, almost neon, hues of blue, green, and even violet are simply spectacular. But what is this stone, and how is it different that regular tourmalines, which are quite common in the jewelry world?


photo credit: gia.edu
photo credit: gia.edu

First of all, I needed to learn how to say it correctly, and let me tell you, I was way off! I thought it was “pa-RAI-ba”, but it’s in fact pronounced “par-a-EE-ba.” (Here’s a link to hear it spoken.) Next, I wanted to know how it gets its extreme color, and it turns out that it’s due to the presence of copper in the gem, which no other tourmalines have.

And where is it from? Well not surprisingly, it’s from the state of Paraiba, although I didn’t know that was in Brazil. It’s a relatively new discovery, found in the 1980’s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa. He dug in an old mine in Paraiba Hill for many, many years, absolutely convinced that there was something special to be found there. He was right, and thanks to his dedication and fortitude we now have this rare stone. And when I say rare, I mean really rare! In fact, it’s one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. The larger the stone, the higher the price, as Paraibas are rarely bigger than one carat. Similar stones have now been found in Africa, though their color is said to be a bit lighter.

Here’s some lovely examples of this electric stone:

Ring from Turgeon Raine (9.04 carats!)

turgeon raine paraiba and diamond ring
Diamond and Paraiba earrings from Sutra

sutra diamond and paraiba earrings
Beetles + Huxley pear-shaped ring

paraiba ring from beetles + huxley

Tamsen Z ring with a very unique cut!

tamsen z paraiba ring
Custom Made diamond and Paraiba slice earrings

sliced paraiba and diamond slice earrings from custom made
Modern design from Eytan Aharoni

aharoni jewellery paraiba ring
Beautiful ring from Cayen Jewelers

cayen jewelers paraiba ring
Amazing cabochon Paraiba and diamond ring by Akiva Gil

akiva gil paraiba cabochon ring
I could go on and on, but I think you get the (amaze-balls) picture. Do you own any Paraiba pieces? If so, send me a pic!

Sutra Jewels

When I see a ring like this, my heart starts beating a little faster.

sutra ring

So imagine how I felt when I went to the Sutra booth at the Couture show — drooling!!

amy roseveare, arpita navlakha, divyanshu

Founded in 2008 by Arpita Navlakha and her husband, Divyanshu, this Houston-based line has gained a huge following around the globe. Sutra, which means “collection of sacred verses” in Sanskrit, is an ornate, colorful line which they describe as “chicly gothic.”

Black opal, sapphires and diamonds
Black opal, sapphires and diamonds

Arpita was born into a family of jewelers, and has truly been surrounded by jewels her whole life. (Lucky girl!) She is completely inspired by the stones themselves. Sure to design pieces that are stunning from every angle, I’ve never seen a collection with so many stones that truly light up from the inside. Don’t you think these earrings just glow?

Laguna agate and diamonds
Laguna agate and diamonds

And I think the richness of this multiple colored diamond ring is fantastic.

Various hues of diamonds
Various hues of diamonds

Sutra’s line, “…embodies opulent sophistication with the perfect hint of avant-garde modernism.” There’s definitely an element of Art Deco and Edwardian influence, as well as a little rocker chic, as shown in these earrings and ring.

Sutra earrings

Tanzanite slice ring
Tanzanite slice ring

Sutra’s jewels were the perfect companion to Jessica Alba’s fuchsia gown at the 2nd Annual Baby2Baby Gala.

Jessica Alba in Sutra Jewels

I also think Vanessa Hudgens’ long diamond fish earrings were just the right choice with her bejeweled dress.

Vanessa Hudgens in Sutra Jewels

You can find Sutra Jewels at retailers around the country, including one of my faves, Fragments in NYC.