Emeralds from Paradise

June 1999

Gemstones & Pearls:News

Emeralds from Paradise

A new source in Brazil has people talking

Some find the bright blue green captivating. Others are drawn to the attractive prices. Whatever the reason, a recently discovered emerald deposit in Brazil is attracting the attention of the colored gem world.

The deposit is near Paraiso du Norte, a city in the state of Tocantins, and was discovered by accident. "A little over a year ago, a 14-year-old boy saw stones on the ground while walking through the jungle," says David Epstein, a gemstone buying agent and consultant based in Teofilo Otoni, Brazil.

What attracted the boy's attention is now described by emerald connoisseurs as reminiscent of Zambian emeralds without the dark tones. Epstein says these emeralds are somewhat bluer than Zambian emeralds, with approximately a 60% blue component.

The emeralds have two primary characteristic inclusions: growth tubes (also characteristic of emeralds from other Brazilian sources) and two-phase inclusions.

To Market
The color will make the material marketable once mining proceeds beyond the surface level and larger quantities and sizes are found, says Epstein. So far surface mining has yielded emeralds averaging 1 carat.

When this will happen is a question mark, however, because ownership issues have caused a lull in mining. The region has many emerald-mining parcels, and the recently found deposit is in the most productive area, Verena, which is part foreign-owned. Once ownership issues are resolved, full-scale mining is expected to occur.

Some of the emeralds exhibit growth tubes and two-phase inclusions, typical of other Brazilian emeralds. Gem is courtesy of Precious Resources Ltda.

  • David Epstein, Precious Resources Ltda., Teofilo Otoni, Minas Gerais, Brazil; fax (55-33) 521-5098.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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