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Minerals 2015, 5(1), 61-79; https://doi.org/10.3390/min5010061

Advances in Trace Element “Fingerprinting” of Gem Corundum, Ruby and Sapphire, Mogok Area, Myanmar

1
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, North Parramatta Campus, Sydney, Penrith PO NSW 2075, Australia
2
Geoscience, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
3
CODES ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas 7001, Australia
4
Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Nankang 115, Taipei, Taiwan
5
Geology Department, Yangon University, Yangon 11041, Myanmar
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ian Graham
Received: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 December 2014 / Published: 30 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reviews and Recent Advances on Gemology)
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Abstract

Mogok gem corundum samples from twelve localities were analyzed for trace element signatures (LA-ICP-MS method) and oxygen isotope values (δ18O, by laser fluorination). The study augmented earlier findings on Mogok gem suites that suggested the Mogok tract forms a high vanadium gem corundum area and also identified rare alluvial ruby and sapphire grains characterised by unusually high silicon, calcium and gallium, presence of noticeable boron, tin and niobium and very low iron, titanium and magnesium contents. Oxygen isotope values (δ18O) for the ruby and high Si-Ca-Ga corundum (20‰–25‰) and for sapphire (10‰–20‰) indicate typical crustal values, with values >20‰ being typical of carbonate genesis. The high Si-Ca-Ga ruby has high chromium (up to 3.2 wt % Cr) and gallium (up to 0. 08 wt % Ga) compared to most Mogok ruby (<2 wt % Cr; <0.02 wt % Ga). In trace element ratio plots the Si-Ca-Ga-rich corundum falls into separate fields from the typical Mogok metamorphic fields. The high Ga/Mg ratios (46–521) lie well within the magmatic range (>6), and with other features suggest a potential skarn-like, carbonate-related genesis with a high degree of magmatic fluid input The overall trace element results widen the range of different signatures identified within Mogok gem corundum suites and indicate complex genesis. The expanded geochemical platform, related to a variety of metamorphic, metasomatic and magmatic sources, now provides a wider base for geographic typing of Mogok gem corundum suites. It allows more detailed comparisons with suites from other deposits and will assist identification of Mogok gem corundum sources used in jewelry. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mogok; ruby; sapphire; trace elements; LA-ICP-MS analysis; oxygen isotopes; genetic diversity; geographic typing Mogok; ruby; sapphire; trace elements; LA-ICP-MS analysis; oxygen isotopes; genetic diversity; geographic typing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sutherland, F.L.; Zaw, K.; Meffre, S.; Yui, T.-F.; Thu, K. Advances in Trace Element “Fingerprinting” of Gem Corundum, Ruby and Sapphire, Mogok Area, Myanmar. Minerals 2015, 5, 61-79.

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