THE BASICS OF PARAIBA JEWELRY & GEMSTONES
What You Should Know When Purchasing Paraiba Jewelry or Gemstones?
Suppose you need to get a very special gemstone for yourself or for someone special, one of the best choices would be a Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline. You can try to buy a Paraiba with no background experience and end up with a poor quality stone, with a wrong dimension cut or an African look-a-like. Some jewelry stores only stock these types because they are cheaper and more available.
At Paraiba.com all Jewelry is made only with fine quality, Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline, provided with a certificate of authenticity and appraisal signed by Paraiba.com. But don't let your lack of background experience keep you away from buying Paraiba jewelry and gemstones. Buying Paraiba jewelry and gemstones can be a fun and gratifying experience. However, there are many factors to consider before you make any purchase of a new piece of jewelry.
The first thing to consider is the individual for whom you are purchasing the jewelry and will the color and type of piece be appropriate. For example, should it be a bracelet, a ring, a necklace, or earrings? Consider the pieces of jewelry that they currently own and what they most often wear. What other pieces will they need to complement their existing pieces? If there are already many rings in the collection, do they desire more rings or would they prefer a pair of earrings? Remember, Paraiba colors are nearly always one-of-a-kind, nicely matched pieces are somewhat rare.
Type of Metal
Jewelry from Paraiba.com is all crafted in 18-karat white gold. White metals, such as white gold and platinum are currently quite popular. The best way to buy jewelry for you or as a gift for someone else is to consider the purchase as part of a program. For example, if a person has no white gold jewelry but you feel the person will enjoy white gold, use the many occasions that come up during the year to add a piece. Whether you’re buying for yourself or someone else, Paraiba is a great way to give a unique and wonderful gift.
Exotic stones like Paraiba tourmaline are extremely popular today. But one must be careful that they are purchasing true Paraiba Tourmaline from the State of Paraiba, Brazil and not an African look-a-like. Now, here are some guidelines you should know when purchasing loose gemstones or any jewelry with them: According the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) four things should be considered when purchasing a gemstone-Color, Clarity, Carats, and Cut—the Four “C’s.”
Generally, the closer a colored stone comes to being the pure spectral hue of that color, the better the color and the more valued the stone. The spectral colors (remember the rainbow?) go from pure red to pure violet. They don't include white, black, gray or brown, but these colors affect the tone of color seen, and ultimately the grading.
Factors Commonly Used to Describe Color
Hue - the precise spectral color
Intensity - the brightness or vividness
Tone - the lightness or darkness
Distribution - the consistency or evenness of color distribution
Saturation - the depth and richness of color
More Color Cues
Color is affected by a number of variables. It is primarily affected by light - both the type and the intensity. And clearly, color is a very subjective matter in terms of what is considered attractive and desirable. The best approach (and ours at Shane Co.) is combining the eye and the brain - along with years of experience in the colored-stone business.
Additional Color Considerations
A good gem cutter will optimizes the correct proportions of the cut to bring out the stone's maximum color intensity, thus making it more desirable.
In general, gemstones that are either very light (pale) or very dark sell for less per carat. For example, a rich, deep color is desirable. Paraiba Tourmalines are famous for their “neon” or “electric” colors. A stone's color can appear to change depending on the kind of light in which you're viewing it. However, a Paraiba tourmaline will look as bright and colorful under fluorescent lighting as it will under ordinary incandescent lights or daylight or even slightly dim lighting.
As with diamonds, clarity refers to the stone's purity or absence of internal inclusions (tiny spots, fractures or anything trapped within the stone). However, while clarity is important, there is less expectation for a colored stone to be free of natural markings, this is even more true for Paraiba tourmaline. The absence of inclusions in Paraiba tourmaline is nearly unknown and flawless Paraibas command a very high cost per carat.
The lighter the stone, the more visible inclusions will be. In a darker stone, the deeper color may mask the flaws and thus, the flaws matter less. Of greater concern in colored gems is the type and placement of inclusions. A large crack (called a feather) near the surface of a stone makes it less durable and disrupts the play of light, detracting from the value. But a small, unobtrusive fracture will have minimal effect on the gem's durability, beauty and value. And some natural markings can be desirable to the degree that they validate the origin or variety of the stone.
Carats (Weight, Size and Density)
All gemstones are priced by the carat, except pearls and coral. Paraiba tourmaline is no exception and is one of the most expensive colored gemstones. The greater the weight, the greater the value per carat and price increases with Paraiba can be breath taking. Also, weight and size are not the same thing. Some Paraibas weigh more than others because weight loading cutting styles.
Also consider that Paraiba tourmalines are not readily available in large sizes. Scarcity of particular sizes among the different colored stones will dictate what is considered "large" in the market, affecting price. Like diamonds, colored stones of less than one carat sell for less per carat than stones of a full carat or more. But again, what's considered "large" or "rare" differs with the stone.
Importance of the Cut
Cut and proportion in Paraiba stones impacts the depth of color seen in the stone and the liveliness of the stone. Unlike diamonds, there is no "ideal cut" for Paraiba tourmalines. They are cut to maximize weight recovery and consistency of color from the rough crystal. Also, while cut is important for any gemstone, the criteria for judging cut quality in Paraiba and diamonds is quite different. Oftentimes the proportions needed to produce the best color in a Paraiba would be considered quite poor if that stone were a diamond. A poor cut significantly reduces the stone's vividness and depth of color.
What Determines Value in Paraiba Tourmaline?
Color is the single most important determinant of value in Paraiba tourmalines. Second most important is cut, which maximizes its brilliance. Generally, the more a Paraiba approximates its pure, “neon” color, the more desirable and expensive it is. And the better the cut, the better the depth of color and the liveliness of the stone.
In short, when evaluating a Paraiba tourmaline for purchase, ask yourself:
Is the shade of color attractive?
Does the stone have brilliance and life?
Is the color too dark or too light?
Is the stone uniformly brilliant, or does it have "flat" areas with no life?
Overall, does it appeal to you?
We hope that our basic guide could help you to understand the basics of jewelry. If you still have more questions, please contact us and we'll be glad to help.