Abstract

Cu-bearing elbaite from Paraíba (Brazil) is a highly-prized gem tourmaline. Specimens of similar quality from localities in Mozambique and Nigeria are being sold, and reliable provenance tools are required to distinguish specimens from the original locality from `Paraíba-type' tourmaline from Africa. Here we present Li and B isotope analyses of Cu-bearing elbaite from all three localities and demonstrate the suitability of these isotope systems as a provenance tool. Isotopic profiles across chemically zoned grains revealed homogenous B and Li isotopic compositions, demonstrating a strong advantage of their application as a provenance tool as opposed to major, minor or trace element signatures.

Li and B isotopes of all investigated samples of Cu-bearing elbaites from the three localities are within the range of previously published granitic and pegmatitic tourmaline. Anomalous isotope compositions published previously for these samples are corrected by our results.

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