the igr blog

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Treasure lands




Russia, and Siberia in particular, is the world’s largest supplier of diamonds at the moment. It contributes to almost 25% of the world’s total; followed by Botswana with 20%, Congo (18.6%), Australia (13.2%) and South Africa (9%).


For a long time, Africa was leading the world in its diamond production since there was high concentration of diamond-producing countries.


Zaire, Republic of South Africa, Ghana, Sierra Leone, South-West Africa, Angola Tanzania and Central African Republic were the most popular countries that made great contribution to the supply of this gemstone.


Today, Russia holds what is believed to be the world’s largest and richest diamond resources. The country is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds by volume.


In 2014, Russian miners extracted an estimated 38-39 million carats of diamonds.




Major sapphire deposits were found in Madagascar in 1998, creating a sensation in the gems world. By 2007 the country had become the largest producer of sapphire in the world.


Madagascar is an enormous island located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. Due to its isolation, it has a unique ecology with more than 80% of its animal and plan species found nowhere else on earth.


Madagascar is most famous for blue sapphire, but many different colors have been found, including pink, yellow, green, white and padparadscha.




Myanmar supplies 90% of the world’s rubies, which mostly come from Mogok, the “Valley of Rubies”. Mogok has the most popular mines in the world because they supply the most expensive stones.


The most productive pit at Mogok is the very popular Safari mine. It is known to produce 800 grams of stones every day, which amounts to almost 4,000 carats.


Mogok's rubies occur in a crystalline marble. Bit by bit, millions of years of weathering freed the rubies from their marble womb, carrying them down from the hills to the valley floors, where they have settled in the bottom of the streams and rivers.


The most famous Burmese ruby in “pigeon’s blood” colour weighing 25.59 carats was sold at Geneva auction last year for world record price of £19 million.




Colombian land is the richest source of emeralds in the world. It is estimated that Colombia accounts for 70-90% of the world's emerald market.


Colombia is considered by gem experts all over the world to be the best place to find emeralds. They are also responsible for some 60% of the world’s production of fine emeralds.


Other countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Brazil are also known for their rich deposits, but it is Colombia that is said to have the emeralds with the deepest color and clarity.


The most famous mines are Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor.




Australian opal accounts for 95-97% of the world's supply of precious opal, with the state of South Australia accounting for 80% of the world's supply.


The world's largest and most valuable gem – The Olympic Australis Opal - was found in August 1956 at the opal field in Coober Pedy. It weighs 17,000 carats, almost 3.5 kg, and is 11 inch/28 cm long, with a height of 4.75 inch/12 cm and a width of 4.5 inch/11 cm.

Coober Pedy has also produced large quantities of crystal opal and the rare black opal.


Opal is the national gemstone of Australia.