We have a huge amount to be grateful for with this amazing planet that we are lucky enough to live on. Amongst all the more obvious things, I’m pretty chuffed that it’s formed us some amazing gemstones!
The huge fluctuations in temperature and pressure, and the movement of different rock types from deep in the mantle of the Earth through the crust and out towards the surface provide ideal conditions for the formation of gemstones. Different gems require different conditions for growth, and the presence or absence of certain chemical elements will also have a huge effect. By understanding the geology of our planet, areas rich in gemstone deposits have been identified, and this has led to an expansion of mining, both on an industrial level, and for individuals supporting their families and communities.
The weathering and erosion that forms part of our geological history also exposes rocks that contain gemstones, and brings them to attention. When washed down rivers, rock pieces break down, exposing gem fragments. These gem fragments are washed downstream, and form alluvial deposits, accessible to those looking for surface or shallow mining opportunities.
Over time different areas of the world have become known for their gem production. As these become exhausted, new areas are explored. Our understanding of the effects that gem extraction has on our environment, and the health of individuals undertaking what is frequently a dangerous task, has improved greatly over time. It is key that we understand the effects of our gem consumption on the mining communities, and that we, as consumers, take into account the work required to support these individuals and their communities going forward.
Stay tuned to find out more about some of the recent initiatives to support mining communities.