The African continent is known for its diverse cultures, ethnicity, religious population. They are well known for their huge natural mineral reserves which have been the main economic backbone for its various countries.
Apart from the well-known reserves of gold, copper, and diamonds, Africa is also a major source for precious and semi-precious gemstones. These valuable minerals are found across the continent in various mines, each mine specializing in a particular type of precious gemstone.
But it is to be noted that gemstones are mainly found in the eastern and southern regions of the African continent. Some of the best quality gemstones are found in this region.
Though there are many types of gemstones found in Africa, in this article we will discuss the top 5 gemstones.
This is an extremely stunning gemstone found in yellow, golden brown, and different shades of blue color. In fact, the Blue Topaz is quite a popular gemstone as it is associated with the December month and two zodiac signs, Sagittarius and Capricorn.
Topaz belongs to the silicate mineral class of aluminum and fluorine. It is physically seen as a prism type of mineral with pyramidical structural features. One of the hardest naturally occurring gemstones in the world, expensive jewelry is mostly made from it due to its hardness and clarity.
Topaz gemstone is found in golden brown and yellow color in its natural form but turns into blue color due to heat treatment. It is commonly found in Nigeria followed by Zimbabwe and Namibia and is quite expensive at $300 per carat.
Ruby is a quite popular gemstone across the world. Though it is found in many countries, the African rubies are in great demand. The best quality ruby gemstone used to come from Myanmar but due to trade restrictions, the red color rubies from Mozambique is quite in demand. Apart from Mozambique, it is also found in Madagascar, Tanzania, and Kenya.
This gemstone is known for its blood red color and is considered a precious stone owing to its quality and high price. African rubies can be opaque, translucent or transparent. It costs anywhere between $100 To $15000 depending on its color, clarity, and origin. The more transparent it is, the higher the price of this gemstone.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and though it has a Latin background because of its red color of a pomegranate, the best quality is found in Tanzania.
The garnet gemstone has been a popular gem throughout history and worn as beads in a necklace. This gemstone belongs to the silicate minerals and is used in jewelry due to its hardness and durability. The Mozambique variety of garnet is also quite popular.
Mozambique garnet is slightly more red and darker. This is an expensive gemstone and a carat of Rhodonite Garnet costs around $100.
It is one of the oldest gemstones found and belonging to the silicate variety. Zircon stones are traditionally blue in color, being a December birthstone. However other colors from colorless to yellow golden, red, brown, blue and green are also found. Most Zircons comes in small sizes though large ones are also available but rare.
This stone is mainly found on the Limpopo belt in South Africa. A well saturated blue Zircon crystal goes for $400 per carat. It is also found in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Nigeria.
This gemstone is known for its stunning and exclusive features. The blue and violet gemstone is exclusively found in northern Tanzania. Being a rare and expensive stone, starting from $300 it goes up to $750 per carat, the price and value changes depending on the cut, weight, and clarity.
Tanzanite stone was discovered as recently as in 1967 in Tanzania and it is the only place where it can be found. Thus, it is an extremely rare and expensive stone and is usually deep purple-blue in color. The expensive quality has traces of red in the blue color while the lighter shades of blue are less expensive.
This stone is believed to have both physical and mental soothing and calming properties. It is used to enhance interpersonal qualities and also resolve communication issues.
The major markets for Tanzanite gemstone today are found in India, USA, and Israel.