Geology of Gems banner

Chapter 11 - Gems From Around the World

This chapter is an assignment guide to gemstone resources of the world. Students will be asked to conduct two general assignments. Students will be asked to present general information, such as with a PowerPoint presentation and/or with handouts that can be distributed to other students within the class. (Note, this aspect of the course is up to the instructor's choices)

Part 1 will be to evaluate the occurrence of specific gems (how and where they form, and where they are mined, here in the United States and from other countries around the world.

Part 2 will be to evaluated the gem resources of selected physiographic regions of the United States

Part 3
will be to evaluate gem resources of selected countries or regions around the world. What are the regional environmental, social, and political impacts associated with gemstone retrieval, manufacturing, and economics of gem resources?

Selected resources about gems and precious stones.

Click on images for a larger view throughout this website.
Igneous Provinces of the World
Fig. 11-1. Gneral geologic map of the world.
 

Part 1 - Occurrence of selected gems

Each student chooses one of the following gemstones (or precious metals) from the selected list below:
Amber
Amethyst
Benitoite
Aquamarine
Beryl
Diamond
Emerald
Garnet
Gold
Jade
Lapis lazuli
Malachite
Opal
Platinum
Peridot
Ruby
Sapphire
Silver
Spinel
Tanzanite
Topaz
Turquoise
Tourmaline
Zircon
gemstones
Provide a brief overview of the following information about the gemstone (or precious metal):

Name: (including varieties)
Physical and Chemical Characteristics: such as crystallographic forms, chemical composition, color, hardness, and other physical characteristics (as described in Chapter 2)
How does it form? (how it originally forms, how it might be transported and concentrated by natural processes)
Does it occur in the United States? Where it is found, what is the geologic setting, and how is it mined? Provide specific sources!
Where does it occur outside of the United States? Where are major production centers around the world? Where is it found, in what geologic settings does it occur? How has it been mined? How much is produced?
What is its current economic value? How are the gems purchased and sold? How much does it cost wholesale (bulk or by carat, etc.)? How and where can it be purchase? Are some varieties of particularly different quality? What may be the best sources if you were to purchase the resource in quantity for processing (such as jewelry making) for commercial resale?
What beneficial and detrimental effects does this resource have on the region and communities where it is extracted?

The information should be compiled in brief outline of two pages (single spaced with a line between headings and paragraphs). Links to web page sources (including their name and URL), bibliographic sources, etc., must be included. Copies should be of good quality for distribution to each member of the course.
 

Part 2 - Gem Resources of the United States

Choose a physiographic province of the United States. Provide a one page summary (as described above). Provide the following summary:

Name and description of the physiographic province:
What is the general geology of the region? What are the rock types and ages of rocks in the region?
What are the best known gem and mineral resources found (and or mined) in that province?
Provide selected sources of the information (URLs, bibliographic sources, etc.)
Physiographic provinces
Physiographic Provinces of the United States.
 

Part 3 - Gem Resources from regions around the world

Choose one of countries or regions listed below and described the following as a 1-2 page handout:
Provide the following summary:

What are the major gem minerals mined in commercial quanities (past and present) from the region (or country)?
What is the geographic/geologic setting in which the resource (or resources) are mined?
How are the resources sold or marketed to resource buyers?
What impacts (good and bad) does this mining have on the country or people within the region?
Provide selected sources of the information (URLs, bibliographic sources, etc.)

Australia
Canada
Mexico
Afghanistan

Brazil
Chile
Columbia
Argentina
Scandinavia
Spain
Baltic Sea region
British Isles
East Africa
South Africa
Central Africa
West Africa

India & Ceylon
China
Siberia
Vietnam

Note: The class instructor may want to provide assistance to getting resources to students (providing guidelines to "acceptible" resources) and possibly putting book resources on library reserve. Deadlines, copying pages, and amount of time for in-class presentation (group or individuals) are up to the instructor.
Click below to proceed to:
http://geologycafe.com/gems/chapter11.html
9/17/2014