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Cuprian Tourmaline - Copper bearing Tourmaline from Africa

Stone Description

The original Cuprian Tourmaline is Paraiba Tourmaline discovered in 1989 which has become the number one collector's gemstone outside of the big three. To differentiate between this original Cuprian Tourmaline and subsequent deposits we call any copper-bearing Tourmaline that is not from Paraiba/Brazil, Cuprian Tourmaline. The trade decided that "Paraiba" is a color, we at Mayer & Watt consider it a location and will not describe any Tourmaline from Africa as a Paraiba. The deposit in Nigeria was discovered in the late 1990s and was quite small and the much larger deposit in Mozambique was discovered in 2001.

Cuprian Tourmaline from Nigeria and Mozambique is wonderful, BUT they are not in our opinion "Paraibas". These Tourmalines deserve to be recognized in their own right and like their original cousins from Brazil come in many different colors. The intensity of the colors rarely matches that of Brazil, but the African deposits have produced much larger stones. As with the Brazilian material, it is the p[purple rough stones that heat to the much more desired Windex blue colors, so the unheated purples are quite rare.

Prices for the African Cuprian Tourmalines have been steadily rising but they still trade at a significant fraction of those stones from Brazil.

  • Hardness: 7.5

  • RI: 1.618 to 1.643

  • SG: 3.04 to 3.13

  • Gem DNA: ((Ca,K,Na,[]) (Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3 (Al,Cr, Fe,V)6 (BO3)3 (Si,Al,B)6O18 (OH,F)4)

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