Paraiba Perfection

October 05, 2017


The holy grail of the multi-coloured tourmaline family is undoubtedly the electric coloured gemstone known as Paraiba.

Tourmalines are complex boro-silicates that have incredibly long chemical formulas that resemble a mediaeval apothecary’s script. They are coloured by various transition elements such as magnesium or traces of chromium and vanadium (the two metal ions responsible for the brilliant hues of emerald and ruby) and even bismuth! The intensely coloured, almost neon blue through to green coloured tourmalines from the Paraiba state in Brazil are unique in the tourmaline family as they are coloured by copper (which is responsible for the beautiful vibrant blue colour of turquoise). Paraiba tourmaline is often included with copper platelets which can be dendritic in form and have a yellow, metallic lustre.

Tourmaline is so appealing to jewellers as this family of gems offers the greatest variety of colour choices. Since the discovery of Paraiba tourmaline in the 1980s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa, extra neon colours have been added to the already extensive rainbow palette of tourmaline.  Mr Barbosa toiled for years digging in and around the hills of the state of Paraiba in Brazil, hoping to discover something unique. Imagine his delight when he uncovered the first neon blue beauty!

The colours of Paraiba tourmaline are: electric neon turquoise, neon sea green, electric cobalt blue and a sizzling purple. The most sought-after colour is the electric neon turquoise which looks so spectacular coupled with diamonds… imagine how fresh and appealing a neon Paraiba centre stone and diamond and Paraiba melee pave set looks in brilliant white gold!

Paraiba tourmalines seem to have a unique incandescent glow that sets them apart from all other gems. Since the discovery in Paraiba, Brazil, other similar gems have been excavated in Mozambique and Nigeria since 2003. These gems are so close in their chemical composition to the original deposit in Brazil that they are known as Paraiba type. Gems weighing over five carats are being unearthed in these newer deposits which is a true gift from Mother Nature! There’s an ongoing debate on whether only tourmalines uncovered from the Paraiba state in Brazil have the right to be called “Paraiba”. Gem dealers are getting around this by calling stones from the other countries “Paraiba type”. Surely the main point is the stunning colour and the copper content to qualify as a true Paraiba!

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Ring sizes

We use Australian ring size measurements, which are in an alphabetical range from A-Z.

As your fingers contract and expand due to the temperature, humidity, exercise, etc, your ring will fit on your finger tighter or looser. Your ring should fit comfortably and you need to find a balance between too big and too small. It is recommended that you should have to push your ring on tightly over your knuckle and it should spin slightly around the base of your finger. There should be some resistance when the ring is taken off – this will help to keep the ring on when your fingers are cold or wet. The correct size is the one that you feel the most confident and comfortable with.

We suggest that you size the finger you intend to wear your ring on at room temperature – this should provide you with a size that should be close to perfect most of the time.

Top-heavy rings can tend to spin on your finger, as the base of your finger is usually thinner than your knuckle. We suggest when sizing your finger for a top-heavy ring, that you err on the tighter side, rather than a loose fit. This will mean that the ring will stay on the top of your finger and it will ultimately be more comfortable to wear.

If you’re choosing a wide ring, you will tend to go up a size. There is more surface area on a wider ring and therefore more metal to grip to your finger.

If you are interested in a ring that is 5mm or wider, we suggest going up a size (one size larger than the sizing gauge). We suggest going up another size if the ring you are interested in is 9mm or larger (two sizes larger than the sizing gauge).

If you are buying a ring as a gift for someone, we recommend that you measure the inside diameter of a ring the person you’re buying the gift for, regularly wears on the finger your gift will be worn on.

Measuring your finger

If you do not know your ring size you can use this guide to obtain an approximate measurement.

Before measuring the finger on which the ring you’re purchasing will be worn, please ensure the following:

The number that lines up with edges of the opening is the ‘interior circumference’. Please note this number and then refer to our Ring Size Chart to choose the correct ring size.

Download Ring Size Guide PDF

If you do not know your ring size you can use this guide to obtain an approximate measurement.

If you have a ring that is worn on the finger you need sizing, print out the ring size guide (take care to print it at 100%), and place the existing ring over the circles. Measure the inside of the ring against the outside of the circle. If you can hardly see the black line which goes around each circle, you have chosen the right size. Compare the ring to the adjacent circles to check that you definitely have the right size.

You can then double check this measurement by measuring the inside diameter of the ring, and matching that against the ring diameter measurements shown.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a ring available, you can measure the finger itself to obtain an approximate ring size. You can do so by wrapping a piece of string or thin strip of paper around the finger on which you wish to wear the ring, marking it with a pen where it overlaps. Measure the piece of string with a ruler to obtain the circumference of the finger, and compare that to the European Size measurement shown on the chart. We would recommend that in order to obtain the most accurate measurement when taking your ring size in this way, you do so at the end of the day when the finger is at its largest, and not when your hands are unusually cold as this would lead to a smaller ring size.

If you require any further assistance in obtaining your ring size, please  contact us and we will be happy to help.