The name Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word ‘Tura Mali’ which translates as stone of mixed colors. These premiere gemstones are rich in copper, producing that neon glow that copper-bearing gemstones are famous for, hence the name Cuprian Tourmaline.
Cuprian Tourmaline is only found in Mozambique and technically is the same gemstone as Paraiba Tourmaline; the only difference is the color. Paraiba Tourmaline must fit into a certain color range of blues and greens; anything outside of that from the Mozambique production is named Cuprian Tourmaline.
Just The Facts
Tourmaline has been known to man since as early as 3rd century B.C and is famous for the variety of colors it can come in. Tourmaline’s different colors are either identified by a color prefix, such as blue-green, green and pink, or a variety name or location such as Mutuca Indicolite or Chrome Tourmaline. Its color spectrum and differing varieties outdo any other gemstone family; an old Egyptian legend is that the stones passed through a rainbow on their long journey up from the centre of the Earth! Significant deposits of Tourmalines can be found all over the world but good qualities and fine gemstone colors are not in abundance meaning high demand for Tourmaline jewellery and pricing scale almost as wide as the color selection! Cuprian Tourmaline is the name for the copper-rich (Cuprian) Mozambique Tourmalines whose colors are outside of the tones and shades reserved for the infamous Paraiba Tourmaline. Extremely collectable, Cuprian Tourmaline is a fairly new gemstone, only appearing in the marketplace in 2005, after the discovery of Paraiba Tourmaline’s Mozambique deposit.
Despite their investments and a hope that further exploration of the surrounding area would find this alluvial deposit’s host rock primary source, there is currently nothing commercially significant being pulled from the ground. As a result, it’s currently virtually impossible to purchase any rough Cu-bearing Tourmaline crystals on the open market.
The colors seen in Cuprian Tourmaline include burnt oranges, dusty roses, lavenders, pinks, purples, reddish-purples, yellows and forest greens. Color is down to personal preference, every single gemstone is rare, collectable and coveted. Some varieties are rarer than others, particularly the pinks and canary tones.
Size and clarity, along with some of the rarest colors, determine the price of Cuprian. To obtain intense color, eye clean clarity and size is a rare and prized find.