Mineral Species: Elbaite v. Cuprian, Lepidolite, Quartz
Locality: Brazil Paraiba Mine, Mulungu Site, Parelhas, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Dimensions: 18.5 cm, 20.0 cm, 6.8 cm
This specimen might well be the largest and most significant “Paraiba Tourmaline” matrix mineral specimen in the world. The vast majority of this rare copper-bearing tourmaline is cut immediately into gemstones. Paraiba Tourmaline is among the earth’s most coveted, colored gem materials.
“Copper-bearing ‘Paraiba tourmaline’, a geochemical oddity, was discovered in Brazil in 1988. Its rich and unique colors have given it extraordinary gemstone value, resulting in the preservation of very few good crystal specimens.
High concentrations of COPPER (1.5 to 2.3 weight % CuO) plus some manganese are responsible for the TURQUOISE-BLUE, tanzanite-blue, sapphire-blue, and ‘electric-blue’ colors.” … Wendell E. Wilson (The Mineralogical Record; March-April 2002)
Initially discovered at the Batalha Mine, “Paraiba tourmaline” became one of the rarest and most precious gems in the world. Worldwide, only five mines produce this rarity: three of them in Brazil and two in Africa.
This specimen was recovered from the Brazil Paraiba Mine, Mulungu Site in Parelhas, Rio Grande do Norte which is the largest “Paraiba tourmaline” mine on the planet. The gem-pegmatite rough which yielded this spectacular matrix specimen was discovered nearly 20 years ago. Specimen preparation was a recent, collaborative effort between the Brazil Paraiba Mine and Collector’s Edge Minerals of Golden, Colorado.
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Photo Credit: Jeff Scovil Find out more