Pakistan gem safariWritten by Alain Darbellay GGGems
© 2004 gggems.com All rights reserved.
PAKISTAN Tourmaline from Estaknala, located at foot of Haramosh mount, 7 kms from Sassi. (Between Gilgit and Skardu) The Northern areas conceals treasures, such of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, aquamarines, topazes, tourmalines etc. Unfortunately, their extraction directly in mother-rock, makes exploitation very difficult. Emeralds from Sassi found in a limestone.
A gravel-top 241 kms road track connects Gilgit to Skardu, capital of Baltistan perched 2438 meters above sea level. The journey takes 6 to 8 hours. Sassi is located at edge of this road, in geological belt made up amongst other things of amphibolites surrounding Nanga Parbat, one of famous peaks of Himalayas. In Sassi, life is hard, but inhabitants are friendly. At an elevation of 1,454 meters lies Gilgit. This wood bridge is one of longest of The Rakaposhi Volcanic Complex previously called greenstone complex covers a large part of Hunza Valley.Four main lithological elements comprising whole mass: 1 basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyodacite to rhyolite. 2 greenschists, actinolite,chlorite schists, hornblend schist, amphibolite and agglomerates 3 Medium crystalline limestone and marble, quartzite, chert, slates and micaschist. 4 The igneous intrusions are mostly in form of acid and basic sills and dykes. Leucocratic granites bodies are quite common
Himalayas. Rakaposhi overview from Haliabad. · Valley of Hunza. Situated at an elevation of 2,438 meters, Hunza Valley is spot of famous rubies found in a metamorphic limestone, said:( Ganesh marble.) -------------------------------------------------- Topaz from Dasso ( Shigar.) · Shigar valley is gateway to great mountain peaks of Karakorams, Gasherbrum peak & K-2. -------------------------------------------------- Cherry topaz from Mardan ( natural coulour.) · Mardan, on road to Swat conceals only
Discovery of Pyrope Spessartite garnets ( Madagascar )Written by Alain Darbellay GGGems
© 2004 gggems.com All rights reserved.
A day of July 1996 whereas I stopped in a small village in Madagascar, one presented samples of a strange stone to me. At first sight its color could reminds certain zircon, but I quickly identified them as garnet. After some palaver, one led me to place of discovery. I must acknowledge that I already knew inhabitants with whom I tied friendship previous year. On spot, a notch of about one meter fifty in a white color rock had created a not very impressive hole. But, according to its authors, it was particularly painful to produce it with iron bars only . I readily believed them after to be approached to rock. Some particles of this stone to orange - pink-brown reflections remained taken in bedrock. I encouraged my friends to be still sought. The first samples extracted from a not disaggregated leptynite did not exceed 3.15 cts. after cutting. The observation under day light and incandescent light showed a clear difference in color. Its change, from champagne color under daylight, to an intense red for some, or to pink-orange for others is due to chromium and vanadium traces. This characteristic confers an attractive aspect on these gems. Other samples were orange-yellow and did not change a color under various sources of lighting. Unfortunately, very hard and compact rock in this place, did not allow to extract many stones from it, and occurrence was abandoned a few weeks after its discovery.
Opposite, first samples cut in 1996 showing a change of color. Above, an orange malaya found also in primary occurrence. (It does not change a color) This is two years later, exactly in September 1998, that returning in small village, samples more or less similar to those which I make cut in 1996 were found. They were turbid because of fine rain of small bubbles they contained. Their color was definitely more orange than malaya garnets from first occurrence. Indeed, they did not come from same place. This is a little more than one kilometer of distance that elluvionnar deposit was discovered. I was immediately conscious to be witness of a rare moment in career of an impassioned person in precious stones.