Friday, November 09, 2007

Giant Crystals found at Tanzanian Gem Fields

Chaos Reigns as Giant Red Crystals are Unearthed.

by Richard W. Wise


According to my writing partner, globe-hopping gemologist Vincent Pardieu, a new strike of giant red spinel crystals has sparked a gold-rush mentality in the gem fields of Mahenge, Tanzania. Hundreds of miners have abandoned other gem producing areas and descended en mass on the area where red spinel crystals weighing 20-50 kilograms have recently been unearthed.

Pink spinel has been mined in this area since the early 1990s. A few reds have been found but up until now the most notable stones have been the pink-orange stones, with a color similar to that of some “padparadscha” sapphires. The material is found in alluvial deposits. The rough typically consists of small octahedral crystals or fragments that weigh 0.1–2 grams about 30% of which is facetable. (photo: Jeff Scovil)

This latest find located this August consists of a primary deposit of spinel found in marble. They are finding decently formed crystals topping off at 275,000 carats about 5% of which is clean top faceting material. Highly saturated red stones between 20-50 carats have been cut.

Stay tuned, a detailed report by Vincent and myself should appear on the Colored Stone website: within the week.

Whats a buyer to do?

Follow me on gem buying adventures in the pearl farms of Tahiti. Visit the gem fields of Australia and Brazil. 120 carefully selected photographs showing examples of the highest quality gems to educate the eye, including the Rockefeller Sapphire and many more of the world's most famous gems. Consider my book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones.

“Wise is a renowned author... He’s
done a marvelous job of this first book, monumental work, a tour de force...My recommendation: Buy this book”.

Charles Lewton-Brain, Orchid

whether you like to know what the best colour is in Tanzanite, or how to grade a Diamond, you will find it in this book. No other book I read before dealt with this topic is such detail as Richard Wise's masterpiece."

A. Van Acker, FGA
Amazon June 2005

"Secrets Of The Gem Trade: The Connoisseurs Guide To Precious Gemstones by Richard W. Wise is an impressive new reference for dedicated dealers and collectors of gems, gemstones, and ... pearls. Introducing and descriptively exploring each and every gem covered in the easy-to-use reference, Secrets Of The Gem Trade contains an illustrated summary of each stone inclusive of its history and general information, hue and tone, saturation, which may be noticed as the finest, an understanding of the particular gems rarity, and the caution for synthetics and how to depict them, however depending upon the stone there may be description of clarity, color fading, multi-color effect, etc. Secrets Of The Gem Trade is very highly recommended to anyone interested in gemology as a superbly organized, authoritative, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow reference."

Midwest Book Review
April 2006

Only $37.95. Read a couple of chapters online:

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