Image: Bvlgari Mediterranean Queen Necklace | Source: Bvlgari

The Stone 10,000 Times Rarer than a Diamond: The Paraiba Tourmaline

There’s nothing quite as glamorous as a fine piece of jewellery. Typically adorned with precious gems such as diamonds, rubies and emeralds, in the last few decades a new rare gem that’s 10,000 times rarer than a diamond, is now gracing jewellery everywhere – the Paraiba tourmaline.

From the Brazilian state of Paraiba, neon-bright Paraiba tourmalines are some of the rarest gems in the world – the most expensive fetch between A$15,000 – A$30,000 per carat. While the versatile gem comes in a selection of rainbow colours, it’s the beautiful blue of the Paraiba tourmaline that finds its way onto some of the most extraordinary and rare pieces.

The tourmalines are a semi-precious group of gemstones made from a crystalline mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron and copper. While the discovery of tourmaline as a mineral dates back to the 1500s, the elusively Paraiba tourmaline is a more recent find from the 1980s.

Named after the region in Brazil where it was found, the Paraiba is an exquisite gem distinguished by its neon blue hue coloured by traces of copper. One of the rarest gems in the world, it was originally only sourced from Paraiba. Nowadays other locations are home to the Paraiba tourmaline including Rio Grande do Norte, a Brazilian state adjacent to Paraiba as well as Mozambique and Nigeria.

George Pragnell Ring

A ring is one of the most popular styles of jewellery ever – adorn it with one of the rarest gems ever and it becomes something entirely magical. This one-of-a-kind tourmaline ring by George Pragnell features an incredible 3.83ct perfect Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline surrounded by a ring of diamonds. 10,000 times harder to source than the diamonds it’s encircled by, the exceptionally neon-bright gem launches the price of this tourmaline ring up to an estimated around A$470,000.

Bulgari Mediterranean Queen

Bulgari’s Magnifica 2021 is the most valuable high jewellery collection they’ve ever produced. The stunning collection features 60 jewels worth over A$1.5 million each and the crowning piece – the Bulgari Mediterranean Queen Necklace. The necklace is a masterpiece of over 473.82cts of oval cushion-cut Paraiba tourmalines surrounded by diamonds and emeralds. Bulgari’s talented goldsmiths spent a staggering 2,400 hours of work to create this necklace that represents the shimmering beauty of the clear waters of Sardinia.

Hublot Paraiba Watch

This isn’t just another stunning watch, it’s a world first – the first timepiece to be decorated with the turquoise brilliance of a Cuprian Paraiba tourmaline. Hublot electrifies its Big Bang watch series with the vibrant Paraíba tourmaline gemstone who’s colour comes from a unique fusion of gold, manganese and copper. The incandescent glow appears to illuminate the polished 18K white gold watch set on a matte black frame. The black and turquoise Alligator straps feature a titanium buckle clasp completing the elegantly timeless structure. The value of this unique Hublot piece – A$410,000.

Bulgari Astrale Watch

As part of the Bulgari Paraiba high jewellery collection, these two Astrale watches follow the Bulgari colour journey theme of their 2021 capsule collection. The stunning Paraiba tourmalines, aquamarines, pink and purple sapphires and hundreds of diamonds, create a vivid circle of colour around the dial. A true test of craftsmanship, the jewels are connected by the watch’s gold ribbon. The iconic Bulgari Astrale Watch shape in Rose Gold is taken to new levels of luxury – a celebration of modern femininity.

Boghossian Diamond Ring

The historical family jewellers Boghossian are known for achieving the impossible in their designs. This tourmaline ring resonates perfectly with their style – a fabulous ring encrusted with diamonds that appear to hover over a huge Paraiba tourmaline. The 27.47ct Paraiba tourmaline shines a signature bright blue colour that dazzles in the light. Most of the 18K white gold ring is elegantly hidden behind the precious stones that appear to embrace each other. From the Boghossian ‘Mother Nature’ collection, this tourmaline ring pays homage to the Earth’s four core elements – Earth, water, air and fire.

To find out more about precious stones, have a look at the five must-have opal rings or learn why emeralds are more expensive than diamonds.

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