During a GIA field expedition to Mogok, Myanmar, a tiny but interesting sample was acquired. This 0.552 ct ruby was purchased from local Kanase miners who process the tailings of the larger mines in the Kyatpyin Valley, just west of the town of Mogok. The ruby is associated with pure white calcite and bluish green tourmaline (see above).
Many rubies form in marble, especially in the deposits related to the Himalayan orogeny (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, and Vietnam), so calcite as an inclusion or associated mineral with these gems is common. While tourmaline in combination with ruby is not unheard of, it is a relatively unusual combination. Laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) chemical analysis showed that the tourmaline was a Na-Mg-rich dravite. Tourmalines are of great interest to geologists because their isotopic and trace element composition are potentially strong indicators of the formation environment of the tourmaline and the associated minerals, in this case ruby.
The Carlsbad and New York laboratories and schools will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. These locations will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, May 29.