Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sapphire from Baffin Island, Nunavut

In 2002, gem quality blue sapphire was discovered in the Canadian Arctic, near the hamlet of Kimmirut.

In late 2005 True North Gems discovered an extremely rare, cobalt-rich variety of spinel. The Beluga spinel has an unusually intense blue colour with the chromophore (colouring agent) being cobalt.
Gemstone exploration, with the exception of diamonds, is not common in Canada. A decade ago, emerald mineralization was discovered in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Ontario which generated a brief period of interest. There have also been sapphire discoveries in British Columbia, Nunavut and Ontario.

These discoveries led to a number of scientific papers but gemstone mining remains a speculative and unfamiliar market for most.