Gems & Gemology, Fall 2010, Volume 46, No. 3
Gem Localities of the 2000s
James E. Shigley, Brendan M. Laurs, A. J. A. (Bram) Janse, Sheryl Elen, and Dona M. Dirlam
While the past decade saw some impressive discoveries of diamonds and colored stones (such as corundum, spinel, garnet, and tourmaline), it also witnessed reduced gem production in many areas as a result of high development costs, environmental considerations, and the downturn in the global economy. With legal and ethical restrictions on the trade in gems from some nations, and with premium market values paid for certain stones from particular sources, “locality of origin” determinations took on increased importance for some colored stones such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, and copper-bearing tourmaline. This article reviews the geographic sources of diamonds and colored stones, as well as the areas of production for both natural and cultured pearls, that were commercially important during the years 2001–2010. Maps of most of the important gem-producing regions of the world are included on an accompanying wall chart.