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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Gem Origins -
Gem origins - Africa... and I'm talking a lot more than
We're all familiar with Africa as the major source for
diamonds. African nations such as South Africa, Central African Republic,
Angola, and the Democratic Republic Of The Congo are world renowned as diamond
You may not be aware that a number of countries south of the
great Sahara Desert region established themselves as major producers of colored
gems during the twentieth century.
Last month we reviewed the gem production of Nigeria., the
most important gem producer in East Africa. At The Dorado Company we're very
familiar with Nigeria's gem stones. We get rough from two mining operations
there in exchange for hosting their websites.
Africa produces a wonderful array of gem types, and colors, many of which are
found nowhere else.
Here's an overview of the colored gem production of (central
and southern) Africa.
Amethyst is mined in a number of locations in Africa. Namibia and
Zambia are known for high quality gems.
Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite,and other members
of the beryl family are found in Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Zambia is especially noted for it's quality emerald.
Zambia is also gaining
recognition as a producer of citrine and garnet as well as
the amethyst and emerald mentioned above.
Red, pink, and green Tourmaline is produced in several countries. Rare yellow
tourmaline from Malawi and fine blue tourmaline (indicolite) from Namibia are
among the newest tourmaline gems coming from Africa.
Garnet in many colors are produced in Africa. Several species of
African garnets are highly prized in the gem and jewelry worlds.
Spessartite (hot orange), Malaya (pink-orange) and Mozambique (orange-red) garnets are all highly valued members of
the garnet family.
Perhaps the most highly prized is the intensely green
tsavorite garnet found in Kenya and Uganda.
Violet-blue Iolite is produced in several countries, including South Africa and Mozambique.
Iolite is also known as water sapphire.
Tanzanite is perhaps the most unique gem coming from Africa. This
beautiful and popular gem comes from one small area in Tanzania. Tanzanite has
become both popular and relatively expensive.
is another important gem produced in Tanzania. This lower priced first cousin to
sapphire is gaining many new fans in the custom jewelry market. Spinel is also
mined in Malawi, South Africa, and to a lesser extent in some other African
sapphire in blues and fancy colors are mined in several African
countries. Perhaps the most important producers are Tanzania, Malawi. and Kenya.
Some gem dealers simply list gem origins - Africa,
but we know that Africa is a huge continent. Africa is home to many
countries that produce beautiful and unique gems.
The Vegas Shows are just a few days away. We'll let you know what's new in
next month's newsletter.