The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter
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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
East African Sapphires
East African sapphires are among the finest in the
world. The top grades of sapphires from this part of the globe compare favorably
with those occurring in the famous gem fields of Sri Lanka and mainland Asia.
East African sapphires (like other gems and sources) occur in
all qualities from top gem to cabochon and bead grades, but the top grades are
East African sapphires also occur in all colors and
shades... including classic blues, pinks, canaries, purples, orange-reds, padparadscha
(orange-pink), greens, and white (colorless).
Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar are the primary sources for
these beautiful and colorful gems.
Sapphire deposits in Kenya seem to be located in the north
and south. I'm not aware of any significant sources in central Kenya
Important sapphire deposits in Tanzania are worked in several
The Umba River valley and surrounding hills, near the Kenya border is famed for
sapphires, but the deposits stretch north-west along the Tanzania - Kenya border
from near Tanga to the Serengeti National Park area. Mines in these areas have
been producing for several decades.
Editor: I would normally use the word
"region" rather than "area" but, in Tanzania a Region is a
political subdivision, similar to a province or territory.
The Morogoro area between Dar es Salaam and the new capitol of
Dodoma. A scattering of sapphire mines are being worked along an arc to the
south and then west of the Morogoro fields. Many mines in these areas also
continue to produce.
The Songea area in the southwest is an important
source of fancy colored sapphires (colors other than blues). Songea sapphires contain significant (and
varying) levels of magnesium, resulting in a wide range of fancy colors.
The Tunduru area in the south is possibly the most
important sapphire mining area in Tanzania at this time. The most productive
mines are said to be along the Ruvuma River, which forms the border between
Tanzania and Mozambique.
Mozambique is not yet a significant source for
sapphires... but I expect that to change as more gem prospecting occurs there.
With Tanzania sapphire fields to the north, and Madagascar
fields just across the Mozambique Channel, the country of
Madagascar is a well-established source for gem
East African sapphires, in all their glorious colors and shades are an
important resource, helping to keep gem sapphires available in the market, and
Gem Industry News...
Legislation closes loophole for Burmese
and ruby imports from Thailand
On July 29, President Bush signed
legislation that bans the importation of all Burmese jade and
ruby into the United States. The legislation is titled the "Tom
Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act
The new law specifically prohibits importation of jadeite and ruby, “mined
or extracted,” from Burma, including articles of jewelry set with Burmese jade
“In essence, this act closes the loophole that allowed stones to be recut
outside of Burma and no longer be considered as “Burmese origin” when
imported,” said Chris Smith, vice president of the American Gemological
The law takes effect 60 days after the President signed the legislative act.
Other Burmese gemstones are not mentioned in this law.
The President also signed companion legislation, titled the "Renewal
of Import Restrictions on Burma."
An ailing economy is an opportunity for independent jewelry dealers.
We all know the economy isn't as poor as the news people indicate, as they
focus on the worst of it. Our own, and our neighbors circumstances are a better
People still want and need jewelry. Gift occasions, people building and
refreshing their wardrobe, and see it - like it - buy it purchases are
all sales opportunities for you.
An ailing economy isn't a deal killer when you offer quality, service, and
Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?
Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?
Could you use an extra income source?
Take a look at our great
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