Gemstones & Pearls:News
Renewed production from Russia spurs interest
The past three years represent the greatest commercial availability of
demantoids ever, thanks to renewed production at a mine along the Bobravka
River in the Ural mountains. Even so, it remains rare, says Nicolai Kuznetsov
of Russia, who mines the material, and Gabrièl Mattice of Pala International,
Fallbrook, CA, which sells the Russian production in the U.S.
Demantoid was discovered in the mid- to late 1800s, became desirable
after the Russian revolution in 1919, but is rarely seen now except in estate
To attract today's consumers, the producers are banking on demantoid's
rarity as well as its bright, highly refractive index, superb color and
striking "horsetail" inclusions. The inclusions comprise bissolite
crystal fibers, though Mattice says the fibers also have been shown to be
chrysotile, a fibrous form of serpentine. At their best, the inclusions
seem to explode from the depths of the gem without detracting from its saturated
color and scintillation.
Prices depend on the size, color and nature of inclusions. Sizes range
from 0.25-2.5 carats.
- Pala International, Fallbrook, CA; (800) 854-1598.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.