Tag Archives: gem

The science of sapphire – a gemmological view of September’s birthstone

Many people are impressed with the sheer beauty and sparkling magnificence of sapphire, but behind the dazzling outward appearance, there are plenty of fascinating facts and figures. Some of these attributes are essential for gemmologists for identification purposes. Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the oxide mineral corundum, comprising of the two elements aluminium and […]

Tucson Airport sign

Rockhounding in Tucson – a first-timer’s view of the biggest gem show on Earth

We generally expect that, whatever the Americans do, it is going to be on a grand scale. From presidential elections to the Superbowl, everything has to be bigger, brighter and bolder than anything you have seen before. The same can certainly be said of their showpiece gem event in Tucson, Arizona. To be accurate, the […]

Digging in the gem pit

Working in the pit – the daily life of a Sri Lankan gem miner

For a gem miner in Sri Lanka (as in most parts of the world), life follows a fairly regular routine, dictated largely by the hours of daylight available and the weather conditions. Working days begin soon after sunrise and end towards sunset, as there is often very little artificial lighting on the mining plot. Work also […]