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Mozambique, the new Paraiba?


#1

Mozambique Tourmaline; super-star-stone or just over-ripe hype??

By Richard W. Wise, G.G. [c] 2006

A recent find of cuprite (copper colored) tourmaline from
Mozambique is making a lot of waves among gemstone dealers and
collectors…

Reportedly these gems come from an alluvial deposit near
Mozambique’s Alto Ligonha. Region. One source tells me that the water
born material is essentially mined out a statement that should always
be viewed skeptically. The source of these river pebbles is yet to be
found. This same source suggests that the entire production may be
less than 50 kilograms of rough stones.

Is Mozambique the new Paraiba?

Much of the material cuts eye clean gems. Unlike the original
material from the now famous So Jose da Batalha mine in the Brazilian
state of Paraiba and two similar Brazilian locations which yielded
mostly visually included smaller gems, the Mozambique cuprite is
larger and a number of eye-clean 20-60 carat stones have been cut.
READ MORE, VISIT MY BLOG: GemWise:

Richard
Watch for my new book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade:


www.rwwise.com


#2
A recent find of cuprite (copper colored) tourmaline from
Mozambique is making a lot of waves among gemstone dealers and
collectors.. 

So is the find in Nigeria that is producing similar material. This
is the first I’ve read about any of it being mined out, though. I’m
hoping it’s not true, lots of us would like to be able to afford this
beautiful gem and these finds could bring the price down.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#3

Hi Richard,

A recent find of cuprite (copper colored) tourmaline from
Mozambique is making a lot of waves among gemstone dealers and
collectors...... 

Are they really marketing this material as cuprite? If they are
won’t it make waves of another kind? As far as I know there is
already a cuprite which has nothing to do with tourmaline. The
cuprite I know is a copper oxide. It belongs to the cubic system, and
has completely different (higher) SG., and RI., than any tourmaline.

Regards - Nick


#4
Are they really marketing this material as cuprite 

No, it is being marketed as Paraiba tourmaline. It is also referred
to by Paraiba purists as “copper-bearing African tourmaline” to
distinguish it from material that was mined in Paraiba. Some of the
African goods I’ve seen photos of don’t quite rival the Brazilian
material, but some of it definitely does.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#5

James,

I have been following the story of the new Tourmaline find for a
while with some concern for the use of the term Paraiba to describe
the material.

I think the term Paraiba should be reserved for the original source
unless qualified with a description such as Paraiba Like or Paraiba
Type Tourmaline.

My understanding through the articles I have read is that although
this new Tourmaline looks very similar to the Paraiba material (
although not exactly the same) and has a similar chemical makeup (
although not exactly the same ) it is playing havoc with the value of
the Original Material bringing it down considerably in value.

If by chance a deposit of abundance is found that matches the
original material exactly then I think a term should be applied to
all that material and the Paraiba material that does not represent a
place but instead uses such descriptive terms such as the use of
Rubellite or Indicolite.

It is my opinion for what it is worth that true Paraiba Tourmaline
is rare and should remain as such until such time that it is proven
differently.

Greg DeMark
greg@demarkjewelry
www.demarkjewelry.com


#6
I think the term Paraiba should be reserved for the original source
unless qualified with a description such as Paraiba Like or Paraiba
Type Tourmaline It is my opinion for what it is worth that true
Paraiba Tourmaline is rare and should remain as such until such
time that it is proven differently 

Greg, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the people who decided
the issue didn’t ask us, did they? In a way I suppose I’m lucky,
since I don’t have hundreds or thousands of carats of the early
Paraiba material moldering away somewhere, losing much of its value.
Lucky also in that the price of that same material may actually
plummet to a range I could now afford.

In the end, though, my real concern is our industry and the
gemological community. Referring to the African material as Paraiba
really isn’t fair, nor is it accurate, strictly speaking. Paraiba
tourmaline was named after the Brazilian state in which it was mined,
so this new find should be also be named after the region where it
was found. Or maybe after the person who discovered it, etc.

I’ll be combing the gem & jewelry shows for firsthand peeks at the
new material. It’s frustrating to merely read articles about it.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL