Monday, 20 June 2022

Sapphire from Baffin Island, Nunavut - Beluga spinel

The Beluga spinel has an unusually intense blue colour with the chromophore (colouring agent) being cobalt.
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.
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 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.