Even though gemstones have been around for thousands of years, the kind of time that these colourful stones have had since the beginning of the 20th century has been their golden age. There have been a number of discoveries in the way of sourcing, shaping, and distributing these gemstones across the globe. From the beginning of the 20th century, the gemstone world has seen innovation and processes of certification, changing the landscape quite significantly.
However, the discoveries made at the very source of these gemstone deposits are the ones that have truly shocked the world. In the last 120 years, there have been plenty of gemstone discoveries in the form of newer gemstones coming to limelight, and newer sources finding their way into success. This article discusses the most groundbreaking discoveries made in the world of gemstones in the last 120 years.
Gemstone Discoveries In The Last 120 Years
- Rubies In Myanmar
Rubies have always been a trademark of the country of Myanmar, with a history that spans over centuries. However, the discovery of the mine in Mogok, Myanmar in the 1990s shook the world. The quality from the mines of Mogok has been the highest ever, so much so that Burmese rubies now fetch the highest price per carat in the world. The exceptional quality of Rubies coming form this region has made it the world’s foremost source of the red gemstone, accounting up to 90% of the total supply.
- Tanzanite In Tanzania
Counted amongst the rarest and the unique gemstones in the world, the trichroic Tanzanite has only one source in the world; the country of Tanzania. More so, only one mine in the Merelani hills produces Tanzanite. The gemstone was first discovered in 1967 and was one of the many initial pushes that kickstarted the gem industry of Africa. Their rarity and the different hues have always been found highly attractive by everyone. Adding more to the attraction is the fact that the deposits are expected to be exhausted in the next 20 years.
- Rubies In Mozambique
Apart from the high-quality rubies in Myanmar, the Mozambican rubies have also found a significant position in the supply chain of the red gemstone in the world. The quite recent discovery, Montepuez rubies made their way into the world of gemstones in the year 2014 and instantly became a hit for everyone, be it collectors, jewellers, or consumers.
- Paraibas in Brazil
The neon-blue tourmaline was thought to be a myth in people until it actually entered the market. Before the discovery and marketing, the Paraiba Tourmaline was called a brand without a product and was sold locally in Brazil. However, after the gemstone becoming available to the international public, the prices skyrocketed, and the sourcing from the state of Paraiba in Brazil became a hit.
- Sapphires in Madagascar
While the normal colour associated with Sapphire is blue, the real storm came towards the end of the 20th century. In 1998, the town of Ilakaka in Madagascar saw the largest ever rush for the rare variety of Pink Sapphires that were only recently discovered in the region. Even today, the pink sapphires are considered a rare occurrence and cost a significant amount.
- Sapphires in Sri Lanka
While Madagascar had the pink sapphires, Ratnapura in Sri Lanka saw the advent of the colourless sapphires. Not necessarily clear in their appearance, their discovery in the 1970s put Sri Lanka on the map. These colourless sapphires were the reason that gemstone pioneers around the world mastered the technique of heat treating gemstones in order to bring out their true colour. The discovery of these colourless sapphires began the new era of gemstones, expanding the scope of the coloured gemstone market in the world.