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Assistance with sourcing Paraiba Tourmaline

Discussion in 'Colored Stones' started by TristanC, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. TristanC
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TristanC » Jun 13, 2011
    Hi I'm looking to source a nice neon blue/green paraiba tourmaline, and i would like it to have been from the original veins and sourced from Brazil.

    I know they are routinely heat treated, just wondering if untreated varieties exist from the brazillian mines in good specimens. I would want it to be very well cut too.

    Can I ask if anyone knows a good source for this, or which vendor has experience with these stones? Many thanks
     
  2. Pandora II
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Pandora II » Jun 13, 2011
    Paraiba International may have some. Palagems might be worth a try (they are trade only).

    As far as I know they are all heat-treated - the stuff mostly comes out anything from really ugly oily green colour to a not too bad blue-grey.

    I suppose there may be some that have been subjected to heat during genesis and may well come out of the ground in the expected colour in the way that some tanzanite comes out blue rather than root beer colour - I've never seen one but some of the cutters here may well have done. I wonder if it looks as good as the top heat treated stuff?
     
  3. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Jun 13, 2011
    The number of vendors who deal with the original Brazilian material is highly limited – those I know will sell only to the trade, unfortunately. Untreated Paraibas exist but trying to determine if they are naturally unheated by man will be difficult, even for the reputable labs. Seems like you want something very rare and difficult to find, thus, be prepared to fork out at least $10K per carat and upwards, especially if you want it a screaming blue neon colour, even for something that is sub-carat.
     
  4. TristanC
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TristanC » Jun 13, 2011
    Hmm palagems has one, a 1.77ct which is a nice blue with inclusions. It has no access to price for me though.

    It says that it is a paraiba from brazil, with no evident treatment... So glad it is out there. Not a great neon like colour from the photos though. Will keep looking.
     
  5. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Jun 13, 2011
    For pricing, call your local jeweller to contact Pala about that tourmaline.
     
  6. NKOTB
    Brilliant_Rock

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  7. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jun 13, 2011
    Incidentally, there is no way to tell if a paraiba tourmaline is treated/untreated, as the heat temps are very low. Therefore, just because it lacks inclusions specific to heat treatment, it could still be heat treated. Most paraibas are heat treated, and heat treatment does not seem to be a detriment to value.

    Also, before you start seriously considering any paraiba tourmaline, I highly suggest you see some truly neon material in person. It never looks as good in photos as it does in person. 99% of what is being sold today is not that saturated, but it has very high pricing. I don't think those mediocre stones are worth it. The truly fine material has what can be described as an electric glow, as if they have a plug switched on like a lightbulb, and they glow a turquoise blue or greenish blue. This phenomenon simply cannot be appreciated in a photo.

    http://www.africagems.com/paraibatourmaline3-64carats.html
     
  8. MontageCreations
    Rough_Rock
    Trade

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    by MontageCreations » Jun 13, 2011
    As far as I know, they are all heat treated. I have seen some unheated rough and it looks like a real dud compared to after heating, so if you want top color, then you will get a heated one, and as others have said the heating is so low it's undetectable (if done right).

    Also as TL said, no picture can do them justice, most cameras cannot capture their glory.
     
  9. Richard M.
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

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    by Richard M. » Jun 13, 2011
    They are usually heated but Sao Jose Batalha, Paraiba stones with reports stating no heating are rarely available. I know one such stone, a 1.59 ct. pear shape, was offered at the recent Tucson gem show but don't know if it's still available.

    I know of a very well cut 2.04 ct. unheated blue that's currently on offer. I have no other details about it but can get them.

    For those who keep track, a 2.9 ct. Brazilian Paraiba oval (probably heated) sold at the last Tucson show for $100,000 -- $34,483.00/ct.

    Richard M. (Rick Martin)
     
  10. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jun 13, 2011
    Again, unless someone was following the stone at the mine when it came out, and after it was cut, how do they know it was unheated? These are opinions, and there is no proof. Sorry to thread jack, but I personally think these prices are nuts for heated tourmalines with moderate durability. However, that's just my opinion, and I have seen Brazilian paraibas in person too.
     
  11. Barrett
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Barrett » Jun 13, 2011
    Hi I'm looking to source a nice neon blue/green paraiba tourmaline, and i would like it to have been from the original veins and sourced from Brazil.


    Like Chrono mentioned...I hope you have a large amount of cash you are ready to spend. You will most likely not be able to find any original material from the "original veins" unless you travel first-hand to Batalha and find some miner you still has some material mined from the early 90's('89). The Japanese do this on a regular basis and will pay almost any price. Also to get true "heitorite" material from the original veins the prices would be $20,000-$50,000+ a carat if you could even find them at all.

    Crossed threads..what rick said about the 100K is spot on for the 2.9ct

    Also I hear they take Kidney's for $40,000 in Peru blackmarket..I have 2 kidney's...hmmm..
     
  12. TristanC
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TristanC » Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks so much for jumping in guys. Hmm, since coming on PS, been wanting to get some of the rarer stones, but at these prices it sounds unrealistic for me to be chasing rarity. Would prefer to redirect my cash for my other hunt for a nice pink diamond.

    Perhaps a well cut sub ct (around 0.9ct) neon paraiba would be better for me then. Can imagine the prices rising exponentially with larger sizes the way truly rare stuff does, especially since all the sites say paraiba veins in brazil are very thin and yield smaller gems.

    Re:Heat treating, it is strange to my mind that treatment doesn't change valuation, but I guess for some gems it just happens.
     
  13. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Jun 14, 2011
    I can tell you that when I was shopping for a true super neon Batalha Paraiba, even when somewhat included to the eye, a 0.7 ct-ish stone was around $40K per carat.
     
  14. steverhodes
    Rough_Rock

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    by steverhodes » Jun 14, 2011
    You can try Paraiba Dealers (paraibadealers.com) they have access to a lot of unheated paraiba rough from the Batalha mine.

    Not many cut stones but a lot of rough.
     
  15. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jun 14, 2011
    I'm with you there!
     
  16. LD
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LD » Jun 14, 2011
    Sorry - I'm late to the party.

    Like TL I was lucky to buy quite a lot of Paraiba Tourmaline when it was (a) easily available (b) at prices you didn't have to have a cardiac machine on standby for and (c) when the neon quality was more the "norm". Unfortunately, over the years, the quantity and with that the quality of PT available on the market has dried up. What is available now is "normally" not of the quality/colour you would expect from a fine PT and is typically extortionate in price. If you factor in provenance then it makes the search 10 times harder!

    Having said that, there are still some very nice specimens for sale BUT you have to have the wallet and will to part with the sums of money being asked. Unlike TL, I'm not as out of love with mine and still wonder at their glow and neon quality so if your heart is set on one then don't give up. Like any "rare" stone though you need to be prepared for a dent in your budget!
     
  17. Harriet
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    by Harriet » Jun 14, 2011
    TL,
    I saw the 2.04 in its rough form. It was blue. The source is a lovely gentleman who has been living in Brazil for years. I trust his expertise and his word.
     
  18. Harriet
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    by Harriet » Jun 14, 2011
    TristanC,
    The 1.59 is a gorgeous stone. I believe it's still on the market. I've not seen the 2.04 in person, only in a picture, but think it's worth investigating. If you're still interested, do have Rick look into them.
     
  19. T L
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    by T L » Jun 14, 2011
    Doesn't matter how much you trust someone, if treatment is non-detectable, it might as well be treated.
     
  20. TristanC
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    by TristanC » Jun 15, 2011
    Thanks Harriet, but without a clearer price indication, I really don't want to waste someone's time. At 34K/ct, there is no way I would wade into the waters... I really would rather get a really nice smaller argyle pink at that kind of budget.

    Guess I'll just have to wait it out and see if there is a nice one out there if interest wanes. Or if some of the nice PSers get bored and hint that ebay auctions are happening!
     
  21. T L
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    by T L » Jun 15, 2011
    Can you imagine if you chipped it? :shock:

    And trust me, it's very very easy to chip a tourmaline, let alone a heated one, where durability is further compromised by the heating process.
     
  22. TristanC
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by TristanC » Jun 15, 2011
    Hmm, the paraibas on this site seem a LOT cheaper, and the source is stated as Brazil. Am I missing something here? Why is it so much cheaper than Africa Gems?

    Some of the available stones seem a very nice neon as well in the photos. Please chime in for the experts. And thanks for the link! I never came across this site
     
  23. Harriet
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    by Harriet » Jun 15, 2011
    TL,
    With respect to Paraibas, one has to accept that the lab report will state that low heat has been applied. I believe that the premium for Brazilian material is a function of origin (and thus colour), not for lack of treatment. A wise man here taught me that, if I don't know what I'm buying, I must know the person from whom I'm buying. That's how I know that my Oyo rubellites have not been heated, nuked, etc.

    TristanC,
    You're welcome! I'd love an Argyle pink too, but am afraid I've missed the ship.
     
  24. Barrett
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Barrett » Jun 15, 2011
    I wouldn't trust many of those rough stones on that site(paraibadealers.com)...looks like another outlet for ebay sellers and the like. "We list the inventory for a number of dealers, each with their own policies."

    and Steve, you can't post or advertise your site like that here
     
  25. blithesome71
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    by blithesome71 » Jun 15, 2011
    Wow! I've checked out those paraiba from steve's site... It left me w/ electrifying feeling hehe. Nice blue treasures (waaayyyy out of my budget though :bigsmile: )
     
  26. T L
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    by T L » Jun 15, 2011
    Harriet,
    I too believe that heated paraibas are not devalued based on treatment. As for trust, unfortunately, I trust no vendor. If the labs cannot figure out how to detect a certain treatment, I stay away, no matter who the vendor is, in particular if it's a super expensive stone. That's just me however. Now that irradiation is getting more commonplace for tourmaline, I am also staying away, especially from paraibas.

    Other people have their own philosophy. Do what makes you comfortable, but do realize that if you had a lab report stating that a stone is not treated (on a commonly treated gem), it will make it worth more in the long run, or at the very least, retain it's value. That's my opinion, you have every right to disagree. ;))
     
  27. Harriet
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    by Harriet » Jun 15, 2011
    TL,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and especially for the reminder about reports.

    P.S. My rubellite collection was "followed from the mine."
     

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