Special Issue "Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Deposits".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Voudouris
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Guest Editor
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, Department of Mineralogy and Petrology, University Campus-Zografou, 15784 Athens, Greece
Interests: ore minerals; critical metals; magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits; mineralogy of hydrothermal alteration in porphyry-epithermal systems; mineralogy and genesis of gemstones; geoparks
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Stefanos Karampelas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemstones (DANAT), 4th floor, East Tower, Bahrain World Trade Centre, P.O. Box 17236, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Interests: gemology; mineralogy; spectroscopy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Vasilios Melfos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Geology, Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Economic Geology, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: ore deposits; porphyry-epithermal mineralization; mineralogy; geochemistry; fluid inclusions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ian Graham
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), Faculty of Science, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: mineralogy; petrology; ore deposits; gemstones
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Gems have been used in the manufacture of jewelry and as ornaments since antiquity. Recent statistics have shown that about 15 billion Euros are annually at stake. The purpose of this Special Issue is to present recent advances on the study of various types of gems based on different aspects of research (e.g., geology, trace element geochemistry, inclusion studies, geochronology, spectroscopy, archeogemology), which can be used to constrain the conditions of their formation. A combination of non- and micro-destructive methods, such as UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, Raman diffusion spectroscopy, EDXRF, LA-ICP-MS, micro-CT and others, may provide valuable information regarding the exact formation, appearance (e.g., color) and treatment of gem materials.

This Special Issue will emphasize on the recent advances in both fundamental and applied studies on gems, as well as the application of mineralogical and geochemical methods to their exploration, provenance and treatment identification from previously known or from new localities worldwide. 

Dr. Panagiotis Voudouris
Dr. Stefanos Karampelas
Dr. Vasilios Melfos
Dr. Ian Graham
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • gemology
  • mineralogy
  • geology
  • geochemistry
  • spectroscopy

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for Special Issue “Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems”
Minerals 2019, 9(12), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9120778 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 830
Abstract
Gems are materials used for adornment or decoration that must satisfy several criteria where they must be aesthetic and visually appealing; relatively rare; hard and tough enough to resist “normal” wear; and able to withstand corrosion by skin contact and cosmetics [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Emeralds from the Most Important Occurrences: Chemical and Spectroscopic Data
Minerals 2019, 9(9), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9090561 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
The present study applied LA–ICP-MS on gem-quality emeralds from the most important sources (Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It revealed that emeralds from Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia and Madagascar have a relatively lower lithium content (7Li < 200 [...] Read more.
The present study applied LA–ICP-MS on gem-quality emeralds from the most important sources (Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It revealed that emeralds from Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia and Madagascar have a relatively lower lithium content (7Li < 200 ppmw) compared to emeralds from other places (7Li > 250 ppmw). Alkali element contents as well as scandium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, zinc and gallium can further help us in obtaining accurate origin information for these emeralds. UV-Vis spectroscopy can aid in the separation of emeralds from Colombia and Afghanistan from these obtained from the other sources as the latter present pronounced iron-related bands. Intense Type-II water vibrations are observed in the infrared spectra of emeralds from Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as in some samples from Afghanistan and Ethiopia, which contain higher alkali contents. A band at 2818 cm−1, supposedly attributed to chlorine, was observed only in emeralds from Colombia and Afghanistan. Samples with medium to high alkalis from Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe can also be separated from the others by Raman spectroscopy based on the lower or equal relative intensity of the Type I water band at around 3608 cm−1 compared to the Type II water band at around 3598 cm−1 band (with some samples from Afghanistan, Brazil and Russia presenting equal relative intensities). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Gemstones of Greece: Geology and Crystallizing Environments
Minerals 2019, 9(8), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9080461 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2572
Abstract
In the Hellenides Orogen, minerals of various gem quality occur in various rock types from mainly four tectono-metamorphic units, the Rhodope, Pelagonian, and the Attico-Cycladic massifs, and the Phyllites-Quartzites unit of Crete Island. In crystalline rocks, gemstones are related to both regional metamorphic-metasomatic [...] Read more.
In the Hellenides Orogen, minerals of various gem quality occur in various rock types from mainly four tectono-metamorphic units, the Rhodope, Pelagonian, and the Attico-Cycladic massifs, and the Phyllites-Quartzites unit of Crete Island. In crystalline rocks, gemstones are related to both regional metamorphic-metasomatic processes (e.g., gem corundums, Mn-andalusite, thulite/clinothulite, spessartine, titanite, jadeite), and to the formation of late alpine-type fissures, such as, for example, quartz, albite, adularia and titanite. The Tertiary (and Mesozoic) magmatic-hydrothermal environments provide gem-quality sapphire, beryl, garnet, vesuvianite, epidote, fluorite, and SiO2 varieties. The supergene oxidation zone of the Lavrion deposit hosts gem-quality smithsonite and azurite. Coloration in the studied material is either due to various chromophore trace elements present in the crystal structure, or due to inclusions of other mineral phases. Future modern exploration methods combined with gemological investigations (such as treatment and faceting of selected stones), are necessary in order to obtain a better knowledge of the gemstone potential of Greece for its possible exploitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Enigmatic Alluvial Sapphires from the Orosmayo Region, Jujuy Province, Northwest Argentina: Insights into Their Origin from in situ Oxygen Isotopes
Minerals 2019, 9(7), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9070390 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
This study sought to investigate in situ oxygen isotopes (δ18O) within alluvial colorless-white to blue sapphires from the Orosmayo region, Jujuy Province, NW Argentina, in order to provide additional constraints on their origin and most likely primary geological environment. Analyses were [...] Read more.
This study sought to investigate in situ oxygen isotopes (δ18O) within alluvial colorless-white to blue sapphires from the Orosmayo region, Jujuy Province, NW Argentina, in order to provide additional constraints on their origin and most likely primary geological environment. Analyses were conducted using the in situ SIMS oxygen isotope technique on the same grains that were analyzed for their mineral inclusions and major and trace element geochemistry using EMPA and LA–ICP–MS methods in our previous study. Results show a significant range in δ18O across the suite, from +4.1‰ to +11.2‰. Additionally, akin to their trace element chemistry, there is significant variation in δ18O within individual grains, reaching a maximum of 1.6‰. Both the previous analyses and δ18O results from this study suggest that these sapphires crystallized within the lower crust regime, involving a complex interplay of mantle-derived lamprophyres and carbonatites with crustal felsic rocks and both mantle- and crustal-derived metasomatic fluids. This study reinforces the importance of the in situ analysis of gem corundums, due to potential significant variation in major and trace element chemistry and ratios and even oxygen isotope ratios within discrete zones in individual grains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Characteristics of Freshwater and Saltwater Natural and Cultured Pearls from Different Bivalves
Minerals 2019, 9(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9060357 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
The present study applied Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on a large number of natural and cultured pearls from saltwater and freshwater environments, which revealed that freshwater (natural and cultured) pearls contain relatively higher quantities of manganese (Mn) and barium (Ba) and [...] Read more.
The present study applied Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on a large number of natural and cultured pearls from saltwater and freshwater environments, which revealed that freshwater (natural and cultured) pearls contain relatively higher quantities of manganese (Mn) and barium (Ba) and lower sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg) and strontium (Sr) than saltwater (natural and cultured) pearls. A few correlations between the host animal’s species and chemical elements were found; some samples from Pinctada maxima (P. maxima) are the only studied saltwater samples with 55Mn >20 ppmw, while some P. radiata are the only studied saltwater samples with 24Mg <65 ppmw and some of the P. imbricata are the only studied saltwater samples with 137Ba >4.5 ppmw. X-ray luminescence reactions of the studied samples has confirmed a correlation between its yellow-green intensity and manganese content in aragonite, where the higher Mn2+ content, the more intense the yellow-green luminescence becomes. Luminescence intensity in some cases is lower even if manganese increases, either because of pigments or because of manganese self-quenching. X-ray luminescence can be applied in most cases to separate saltwater from freshwater samples; only samples with low manganese content (55Mn <50 ppmw) might be challenging to identify. One of the studied natural freshwater pearls contained vaterite sections which react by turning orange under X-ray due to a different coordination of Mn2+ in vaterite than that in aragonite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
A Review of the Classification of Opal with Reference to Recent New Localities
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050299 - 15 May 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
Our examination of over 230 worldwide opal samples shows that X-ray diffraction (XRD) remains the best primary method for delineation and classification of opal-A, opal-CT and opal-C, though we found that mid-range infra-red spectroscopy provides an acceptable alternative. Raman, infra-red and nuclear magnetic [...] Read more.
Our examination of over 230 worldwide opal samples shows that X-ray diffraction (XRD) remains the best primary method for delineation and classification of opal-A, opal-CT and opal-C, though we found that mid-range infra-red spectroscopy provides an acceptable alternative. Raman, infra-red and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy may also provide additional information to assist in classification and provenance. The corpus of results indicated that the opal-CT group covers a range of structural states and will benefit from further multi-technique analysis. At the one end are the opal-CTs that provide a simple XRD pattern (“simple” opal-CT) that includes Ethiopian play-of-colour samples, which are not opal-A. At the other end of the range are those opal-CTs that give a complex XRD pattern (“complex” opal-CT). The majority of opal-CT samples fall at this end of the range, though some show play-of-colour. Raman spectra provide some correlation. Specimens from new opal finds were examined. Those from Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Peru, Tanzania and Turkey all proved to be opal-CT. Of the three specimens examined from Indonesian localities, one proved to be opal-A, while a second sample and the play-of-colour opal from West Java was a “simple” Opal-CT. Evidence for two transitional types having characteristics of opal-A and opal-CT, and “simple” opal-CT and opal-C are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Metamorphic and Metasomatic Kyanite-Bearing Mineral Assemblages of Thassos Island (Rhodope, Greece)
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040252 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1995
Abstract
The Trikorfo area (Thassos Island, Rhodope massif, Northern Greece) represents a unique mineralogical locality with Mn-rich minerals including kyanite, andalusite, garnet and epidote. Their vivid colors and large crystal size make them good indicators of gem-quality materials, although crystals found up to now [...] Read more.
The Trikorfo area (Thassos Island, Rhodope massif, Northern Greece) represents a unique mineralogical locality with Mn-rich minerals including kyanite, andalusite, garnet and epidote. Their vivid colors and large crystal size make them good indicators of gem-quality materials, although crystals found up to now are too fractured to be considered as marketable gems. The dominant lithology is represented by a garnet–kyanite–biotite–hematite–plagioclase ± staurolite ± sillimanite paragneiss. Thermodynamic Perple_X modeling indicates conditions of ca. 630–710 °C and 7.8–10.4 kbars. Post-metamorphic metasomatic silicate and calc-silicate (Mn-rich)-minerals are found within (i) green-red horizons with a mineralogical zonation from diopside, hornblende, epidote and grossular, (ii) mica schists containing spessartine, kyanite, andalusite and piemontite, and (iii) weakly deformed quartz-feldspar coarse-grained veins with kyanite at the interface with the metamorphic gneiss. The transition towards brittle conditions is shown by Alpine-type tension gashes, including spessartine–epidote–clinochlore–hornblende-quartz veins, cross-cutting the metamorphic foliation. Kyanite is of particular interest because it is present in the metamorphic paragenesis and locally in metasomatic assemblages with a large variety of colors (zoned blue to green/yellow-transparent and orange). Element analyses and UV-near infrared spectroscopy analyses indicate that the variation in color is due to a combination of Ti4+–Fe2+, Fe3+ and Mn3+ substitutions with Al3+. Structural and mineralogical observations point to a two-stage evolution of the Trikorfo area, where post-metamorphic hydrothermal fluid circulation lead locally to metasomatic reactions from ductile to brittle conditions during Miocene exhumation of the high-grade host-rocks. The large variety of mineral compositions and assemblages points to a local control of the mineralogy and fO2 conditions during metasomatic reactions and interactions between hydrothermal active fluids and surrounding rocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Corundum Anorthosites-Kyshtymites from the South Urals, Russia: A Combined Mineralogical, Geochemical, and U-Pb Zircon Geochronological Study
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040234 - 16 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Kyshtymites are the unique corundum-blue sapphire-bearing variety of anorthosites of debatable geological origin found in the Ilmenogorsky-Vishnevogorsky complex (IVC) in the South Urals, Russia. Their mineral association includes corundum-sapphire, plagioclase (An61–93), muscovite, clinochlore, and clinozoisite. Zircon, churchite-(Y), monazite-(Ce), and apatite group [...] Read more.
Kyshtymites are the unique corundum-blue sapphire-bearing variety of anorthosites of debatable geological origin found in the Ilmenogorsky-Vishnevogorsky complex (IVC) in the South Urals, Russia. Their mineral association includes corundum-sapphire, plagioclase (An61–93), muscovite, clinochlore, and clinozoisite. Zircon, churchite-(Y), monazite-(Ce), and apatite group minerals are found as accessory phases. Besides, churchite-(Y) and zircon are also identified as syngenetic solid inclusions within the sapphires. In situ Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U-Pb zircon geochronology showed the ages at about 290–330 Ma linked to the Hercynian orogeny in IVC. These ages are close to those of the syenitic and carbonatitic magmas of the IVC, pointing to their syngenetic origin, which is in agreement with the trace element geochemistry of the zircons demonstrating clear magmatic signature. However, the trace element composition of sapphires shows mostly metamorphic signature with metasomatic overprints in contrast to the geochemistry of zircons. The reason for this discrepancy can be the fact that the discrimination diagrams for sapphires are not as universal as assumed. Hence, they cannot provide an unambiguous determination of sapphire origin. If it is true and zircons can be used as traces of anorthosite genesis, then it can be suggested that kyshtymites are formed in a magmatic process at 440–420 Ma ago, most probably as plagioclase cumulates in a magma chamber. This cumulate rock was affected by a second magmatic event at 290–330 Ma as recorded in zircon and sapphire zoning. On the other hand, Ti-in-zircon thermometer indicates that processes operated at relatively lower temperature (<900 °C), which is not enough to re-melt the anorthosites. Hence, zircons in kyshtymites can be magmatic but inherited from another rock, which was re-worked during metamorphism. The most probable candidate for the anorthosite protolith is carbonatites assuming that metamorphic fluids could likely leave Al- and Si-rich residue, but removed Ca and CO2. Further, Si is consumed by the silicification of ultramafic host rocks. However, kyshtymites do not show clear evidence of pronounced metasomatic zonation and evidence for large volume changes due to metamorphic alteration of carbonatites. Thus, the obtained data still do not allow for univocal reconstruction of the kyshtymite origin and further investigations are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Formation Conditions and 40Ar/39Ar Age of the Gem-Bearing Boqueirão Granitic Pegmatite, Parelhas, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040233 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
The Boqueirão granitic pegmatite, alias Alto da Cabeça pegmatite, is situated in Borborema Pegmatitic Province (BPP) in Northeast Brazil. This pegmatitic province hosts globally important reserves of tantalum and beryllium, as well as significant quantities of gemstones, including aquamarine, morganite, and the high-quality [...] Read more.
The Boqueirão granitic pegmatite, alias Alto da Cabeça pegmatite, is situated in Borborema Pegmatitic Province (BPP) in Northeast Brazil. This pegmatitic province hosts globally important reserves of tantalum and beryllium, as well as significant quantities of gemstones, including aquamarine, morganite, and the high-quality turquoise-blue “Paraíba Elbaite”. The studied lithium-cesium-tantalum Boqueirão granitic pegmatite intruded meta-conglomerates of the Equador Formation during the late Cambrian (502.1 ± 5.8 Ma; 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of muscovite). The pegmatite exhibits a typical zonal mineral pattern with four defined zones (Zone I: muscovite, tourmaline, albite, and quartz; Zone II: K-feldspar (microcline), quartz, and albite; Zone III: perthite crystals (blocky feldspar zone); Zone IV: massive quartz). Huge individual beryl, spodumene, tantalite, and cassiterite crystals are common as well. Microscopic examinations revealed that melt inclusions were entrapped simultaneously with fluid inclusions, suggesting the magmatic–hydrothermal transition. The magmatic–hydrothermal transition affected the evolution of the pegmatite, segregating volatile compounds (H2O, CO2, N2) and elements that preferentially partition into a fluid phase from the viscous silicate melt. Fluid inclusion studies on microcline and associated quartz combined with microthermometry and Raman spectroscopy gave an insight into the P-T-X characteristics of entrapped fluids. The presence of spodumene without other LiAl(SiO3)2 polymorphs and constructed fluid inclusion isochores limited the magmatic–hydrothermal transition at the gem-bearing Boqueirão granitic pegmatite to the temperature range between 300 and 415 °C at a pressure from 1.8 to 3 kbar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gem-Quality Green Cr-Bearing Andradite (var. Demantoid) from Dobšiná, Slovakia
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030164 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Andradite, variety demantoid, is a rare gem mineral. We describe gem-quality garnet crystals from serpentinized harzburgites from Dobšiná, Slovakia which were faceted. Both the andradite samples were transparent, with a vitreous luster and a vivid green color. They were isotropic with refractive indices [...] Read more.
Andradite, variety demantoid, is a rare gem mineral. We describe gem-quality garnet crystals from serpentinized harzburgites from Dobšiná, Slovakia which were faceted. Both the andradite samples were transparent, with a vitreous luster and a vivid green color. They were isotropic with refractive indices >1.81. The measured density ranged from 3.82 to 3.84 g·cm−3. Andradite var. demantoid appeared red under Chelsea filter observation. Both samples contained fibrous crystalline inclusions with the typical “horsetail” arrangement. The studied garnet had a strong Fe3+ dominant andradite composition with 1.72–1.85 apfu Fe3+, Cr3+ up to 0.15 apfu, Al3+ 0.03 to 0.04 apfu, V3+ up to 0.006 apfu substituted for Fe3+, Mn2+ up to 0.002 apfu, and Mg up to 0.04 apfu substituted for Ca. Raman spectrum of garnet showed three spectral regions containing relatively strong bands: I—352–371 cm−1, II—816–874 cm−1, and III—493–516 cm−1. The optical absorption spectrum as characterized by an intense band at 438 nm and two broad bands at 587 and 623 nm and last one at 861 nm, which were assigned to Fe3+ and Cr3+. Transmission was observed in the ultraviolet spectral region (<390 nm), near the infrared region (700–800 nm), and around 530 nm in the green region of visible light, resulting in the garnet’s green color. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fingerprinting Paranesti Rubies through Oxygen Isotopes
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020091 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
In this study, the oxygen isotope (δ18O) composition of pink to red gem-quality rubies from Paranesti, Greece was investigated using in-situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser-fluorination techniques. Paranesti rubies have a narrow range of δ18O values between [...] Read more.
In this study, the oxygen isotope (δ18O) composition of pink to red gem-quality rubies from Paranesti, Greece was investigated using in-situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser-fluorination techniques. Paranesti rubies have a narrow range of δ18O values between ~0 and +1‰ and represent one of only a few cases worldwide where δ18O signatures can be used to distinguish them from other localities. SIMS analyses from this study and previous work by the authors suggests that the rubies formed under metamorphic/metasomatic conditions involving deeply penetrating meteoric waters along major crustal structures associated with the Nestos Shear Zone. SIMS analyses also revealed slight variations in δ18O composition for two outcrops located just ~500 m apart: PAR-1 with a mean value of 1.0‰ ± 0.42‰ and PAR-5 with a mean value of 0.14‰ ± 0.24‰. This work adds to the growing use of in-situ methods to determine the origin of gem-quality corundum and re-confirms its usefulness in geographic “fingerprinting”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Gem-Quality Zircon Megacrysts from Placer Deposits in the Central Highlands, Vietnam—Potential Source and Links to Cenozoic Alkali Basalts
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020089 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
Gem-quality zircon megacrysts occur in placer deposits in the Central Highlands, Vietnam, and have euhedral to anhedral crystal shapes with dimensions of ~3 cm in length. These zircons have primary inclusions of calcite, olivine, and corundum. Secondary quartz, baddeleyite, hematite, and CO2 [...] Read more.
Gem-quality zircon megacrysts occur in placer deposits in the Central Highlands, Vietnam, and have euhedral to anhedral crystal shapes with dimensions of ~3 cm in length. These zircons have primary inclusions of calcite, olivine, and corundum. Secondary quartz, baddeleyite, hematite, and CO2 fluid inclusions were found in close proximity to cracks and tubular channels. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages of analyzed zircon samples yielded two age populations of ca. 1.0 Ma and ca. 6.5 Ma, that were consistent with the ages of alkali basalt eruptions in the Central Highlands at Buon Ma Thuot (5.80–1.67 Ma), Pleiku (4.30–0.80 Ma), and Xuan Loc (0.83–0.44 Ma). The zircon geochemical signatures and primary inclusions suggested a genesis from carbonatite-dominant melts as a result of partial melting of a metasomatized lithospheric mantle source, but not from the host alkali basalt. Chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns showed a pronounced positive Ce, but negligible Eu anomalies. Detailed hyperspectral Dy3+ photoluminescence images of zircon megacrysts revealed resorption and re-growth processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Gem Corundum Deposits of Greece: Geology, Mineralogy and Genesis
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010049 - 15 Jan 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3021
Abstract
Greece contains several gem corundum deposits set within diverse geological settings, mostly within the Rhodope (Xanthi and Drama areas) and Attico-Cycladic (Naxos and Ikaria islands) tectono-metamorphic units. In the Xanthi area, the sapphire (pink, blue to purple) deposits are stratiform, occurring within marble [...] Read more.
Greece contains several gem corundum deposits set within diverse geological settings, mostly within the Rhodope (Xanthi and Drama areas) and Attico-Cycladic (Naxos and Ikaria islands) tectono-metamorphic units. In the Xanthi area, the sapphire (pink, blue to purple) deposits are stratiform, occurring within marble layers alternating with amphibolites. Deep red rubies in the Paranesti-Drama area are restricted to boudinaged lenses of Al-rich metapyroxenites alternating with amphibolites and gneisses. Both occurrences are oriented parallel to the ultra-high pressure/high pressure (UHP/HP) Nestos suture zone. On central Naxos Island, colored sapphires are associated with desilicated granite pegmatites intruding ultramafic lithologies (plumasites), occurring either within the pegmatites themselves or associated metasomatic reaction zones. In contrast, on southern Naxos and Ikaria Islands, blue sapphires occur in extensional fissures within Mesozoic metabauxites hosted in marbles. Mineral inclusions in corundums are in equilibrium and/or postdate corundum crystallization and comprise: spinel and pargasite (Paranesti), spinel, zircon (Xanthi), margarite, zircon, apatite, diaspore, phlogopite and chlorite (Naxos) and chloritoid, ilmenite, hematite, ulvospinel, rutile and zircon (Ikaria). The main chromophore elements within the Greek corundums show a wide range in concentration: the Fe contents vary from (average values) 1099 ppm in the blue sapphires of Xanthi, 424 ppm in the pink sapphires of Xanthi, 2654 ppm for Paranesti rubies, 4326 ppm for the Ikaria sapphires, 3706 for southern Naxos blue sapphires, 4777 for purple and 3301 for pink sapphire from Naxos plumasite, and finally 4677 to 1532 for blue to colorless sapphires from Naxos plumasites, respectively. The Ti concentrations (average values) are very low in rubies from Paranesti (41 ppm), with values of 2871 ppm and 509 in the blue and pink sapphires of Xanthi, respectively, of 1263 ppm for the Ikaria blue sapphires, and 520 ppm, 181 ppm in Naxos purple, pink sapphires, respectively. The blue to colorless sapphires from Naxos plumasites contain 1944 to 264 ppm Ti, respectively. The very high Ti contents of the Xanthi blue sapphires may reflect submicroscopic rutile inclusions. The Cr (average values) ranges from 4 to 691 ppm in the blue, purple and pink colored corundums from Naxos plumasite, is quite fixed (222 ppm) for Ikaria sapphires, ranges from 90 to 297 ppm in the blue and pink sapphires from Xanthi, reaches 9142 ppm in the corundums of Paranesti, with highest values of 15,347 ppm in deep red colored varieties. Each occurrence has both unique mineral assemblage and trace element chemistry (with variable Fe/Mg, Ga/Mg, Ga/Cr and Fe/Ti ratios). Additionally, oxygen isotope compositions confirm their geological typology, i.e., with, respectively δ18O of 4.9 ± 0.2‰ for sapphire in plumasite, 20.5‰ for sapphire in marble and 1‰ for ruby in mafics. The fluid inclusions study evidenced water free CO2 dominant fluids with traces of CH4 or N2, and low CO2 densities (0.46 and 0.67 g/cm3), which were probably trapped after the metamorphic peak. The Paranesti, Xanthi and central Naxos corundum deposits can be classified as metamorphic sensu stricto (s.s.) and metasomatic, respectively, those from southern Naxos and Ikaria display atypical magmatic signature indicating a hydrothermal origin. Greek corundums are characterized by wide color variation, homogeneity of the color hues, and transparency, and can be considered as potential gemstones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Origin of Blue Sapphire in Newly Discovered Spinel–Chlorite–Muscovite Rocks within Meta-Ultramafites of Ilmen Mountains, South Urals of Russia: Evidence from Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd Isotopic Data
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010036 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Blue sapphire of gem quality was recently discovered in spinel–chlorite–muscovite rock within meta-ultramafites near the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex in the Ilmen Mountains of the South Urals. More than 20 minerals were found in the assemblage with the blue sapphire. These sapphire-bearing rocks are [...] Read more.
Blue sapphire of gem quality was recently discovered in spinel–chlorite–muscovite rock within meta-ultramafites near the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex in the Ilmen Mountains of the South Urals. More than 20 minerals were found in the assemblage with the blue sapphire. These sapphire-bearing rocks are enriched in LREE and depleted in HREE (with the negative Eu anomalies) with REE distribution similar to those in miascites (nepheline syenite) of the Ilmenogorsky alkaline complex. 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the sapphire-bearing rocks varied from 0.7088 ± 0.000004 (2σ) to 0.7106 ± 0.000006 (2σ): epsilon notation εNd is −7.8. The Rb-Sr isochrone age of 289 ± 9 Ma was yielded for the sapphire-bearing rocks and associated muscovite. The blue sapphires are translucent to transparent and they have substantial colorless zones. They occur in a matrix of clinochlore-muscovite as concentric aggregates within spinel-gahnite coronas. Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses showed values with trace elements typical for “metamorphic” blue sapphires, with Ga/Mg < 2.7, Fe/Mg < 74, Cr/Ga > 1.5 (when Cr is detectable), and Fe/Ti < 9. Sapphires overlap “metasomatic” at “sapphires in alkali basalts” field on the FeO–Cr2O3–MgO–V2O3 versus FeO + TiO2 + Ga2O3 discriminant diagram. The sapphires formed together with the spinel-chlorite-muscovite rock during metasomatism at a contact of orthopyroxenites. Metasomatic fluids were enriched with Al, HSFE, and LILE and genetically linked to the miascite intrusions of Ilmenogorsky complex. The temperature required for the formation of sapphire–spinel–chlorite–muscovite rock was 700–750 °C and a pressure of 1.8–3.5 kbar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Diversity in Ruby Geochemistry and Its Inclusions: Intra- and Inter- Continental Comparisons from Myanmar and Eastern Australia
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010028 - 05 Jan 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Ruby in diverse geological settings leaves petrogenetic clues, in its zoning, inclusions, trace elements and oxygen isotope values. Rock-hosted and isolated crystals are compared from Myanmar, SE Asia, and New South Wales, East Australia. Myanmar ruby typifies metasomatized and metamorphic settings, while East [...] Read more.
Ruby in diverse geological settings leaves petrogenetic clues, in its zoning, inclusions, trace elements and oxygen isotope values. Rock-hosted and isolated crystals are compared from Myanmar, SE Asia, and New South Wales, East Australia. Myanmar ruby typifies metasomatized and metamorphic settings, while East Australian ruby xenocrysts are derived from basalts that tapped underlying fold belts. The respective suites include homogeneous ruby; bi-colored inner (violet blue) and outer (red) zoned ruby; ruby-sapphirine-spinel composites; pink to red grains and multi-zoned crystals of red-pink-white-violet (core to rim). Ruby ages were determined by using U-Pb isotopes in titanite inclusions (Thurein Taung; 32.4 Ma) and zircon inclusions (Mong Hsu; 23.9 Ma) and basalt dating in NSW, >60–40 Ma. Trace element oxide plots suggest marble sources for Thurein Taung and Mong Hsu ruby and ultramafic-mafic sources for Mong Hsu (dark cores). NSW rubies suggest metasomatic (Barrington Tops), ultramafic to mafic (Macquarie River) and metasomatic-magmatic (New England) sources. A previous study showed that Cr/Ga vs. Fe/(V + Ti) plots separate Mong Hsu ruby from other ruby fields, but did not test Mogok ruby. Thurein Taung ruby, tested here, plotted separately to Mong Hsu ruby. A Fe-Ga/Mg diagram splits ruby suites into various fields (Ga/Mg < 3), except for magmatic input into rare Mogok and Australian ruby (Ga/Mg > 6). The diverse results emphasize ruby’s potential for geographic typing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Gem-Quality Tourmaline from LCT Pegmatite in Adamello Massif, Central Southern Alps, Italy: An Investigation of Its Mineralogy, Crystallography and 3D Inclusions
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120593 - 13 Dec 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
In the early 2000s, an exceptional discovery of gem-quality multi-coloured tourmalines, hosted in Litium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatites, was made in the Adamello Massif, Italy. Gem-quality tourmalines had never been found before in the Alps, and this new pegmatitic deposit is of particular interest and [...] Read more.
In the early 2000s, an exceptional discovery of gem-quality multi-coloured tourmalines, hosted in Litium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatites, was made in the Adamello Massif, Italy. Gem-quality tourmalines had never been found before in the Alps, and this new pegmatitic deposit is of particular interest and worthy of a detailed characterization. We studied a suite of faceted samples by classical gemmological methods, and fragments were studied with Synchrotron X-ray computed micro-tomography, which evidenced the occurrence of inclusions, cracks and voids. Electron Microprobe combined with Laser Ablation analyses were performed to determine major, minor and trace element contents. Selected samples were analysed by single crystal X-ray diffraction method. The specimens range in colour from colourless to yellow, pink, orange, light blue, green, amber, brownish-pink, purple and black. Chemically, the tourmalines range from fluor-elbaite to fluor-liddicoatite and rossmanite: these chemical changes occur in the same sample and affect the colour. Rare Earth Elements (REE) vary from 30 to 130 ppm with steep Light Rare Earth Elemts (LREE)-enriched patterns and a negative Eu-anomaly. Structural data confirmed the elbaitic composition and showed that high manganese content may induce the local static disorder at the O(1) anion site, coordinating the Y cation sites occupied, on average, by Li, Al and Mn2+ in equal proportions, confirming previous findings. In addition to the gemmological value, the crystal-chemical studies of tourmalines are unanimously considered to be a sensitive recorder of the geological processes leading to their formation, and therefore, this study may contribute to understanding the evolution of the pegmatites related to the intrusion of the Adamello pluton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Zircon Xenocrysts from Cenozoic Alkaline Basalts of the Ratanakiri Volcanic Province (Cambodia), Southeast Asia—Trace Element Geochemistry, O-Hf Isotopic Composition, U-Pb and (U-Th)/He Geochronology—Revelations into the Underlying Lithospheric Mantle
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120556 - 30 Nov 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1939
Abstract
Zircon xenocrysts from alkali basalts in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia represent a unique low-Hf zircon within a 12,000 km long Indo-Pacific megacryst zone. Colorless, yellow, brown, and red crystals ({100}, {101}, subordinate {211}, {1103}), with hopper growth and corrosion features range up to 20 [...] Read more.
Zircon xenocrysts from alkali basalts in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia represent a unique low-Hf zircon within a 12,000 km long Indo-Pacific megacryst zone. Colorless, yellow, brown, and red crystals ({100}, {101}, subordinate {211}, {1103}), with hopper growth and corrosion features range up to 20 cm in size. Zircon chemistry indicates juvenile, Zr-saturated, mantle-derived alkaline melt (Hf 0.6–0.7 wt %, Y <0.2 wt %, U + Th + REE (Rare-Earth Elements) < 600 ppm, Zr/Hf 66–92, Eu/Eu*N ~1, positive Ce/Ce*N, HREE (Heavy REE) enrichment). Incompatible element depletion with increasing Yb/SmN from core to rim at ~ constant Hf suggests single stage growth. Ti-in-zircon temperatures (~570–740 °C) are lower than predicted by crystal morphology (800–900 °C) and decrease from core to rim (ΔT = 10–50 °C). The δ18O values (4.88 to 5.01‰ VSMOW (Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water)) are relatively low for xenocrysts from the zircon Indo-Pacific zone (ZIP). The 176Hf/177Hf values (+ εHf 4.5–10.2) give TDepleted Mantle model source ages of 260–462 Ma and TCrustal ages of 391–754 Ma. The source magmas reflect variably depleted lithospheric mantle with little supracrustal input. Zircon U-Pb (0.88–1.56 Ma) and (U-Th)/He (0.86–1.02 Ma) ages are older than host basalt ages (~0.7 Ma), which suggests limited residence before transport. Zircon genesis suggests Zr-saturated, Al-undersaturated, carbonatitic-influenced, low-degree partial melting (<1%) of peridotitic mantle at ~60 km beneath the Indochina terrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Color and Genesis of Prase (Green Quartz) and Amethyst from the Island of Serifos, Cyclades, Greece
Minerals 2018, 8(11), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8110487 - 26 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1775
Abstract
The color of quartz and other minerals can be either caused by defects in the crystal structure or by finely dispersed inclusions of other minerals within the crystals. In order to investigate the mineral chemistry and genesis of the famous prase (green quartz) [...] Read more.
The color of quartz and other minerals can be either caused by defects in the crystal structure or by finely dispersed inclusions of other minerals within the crystals. In order to investigate the mineral chemistry and genesis of the famous prase (green quartz) and amethyst association from Serifos Island, Greece, we used electron microprobe analyses and oxygen isotope measurements of quartz. We show that the color of these green quartz crystals is caused by small and acicular amphibole inclusions. Our data also shows that there are two generations of amphibole inclusions within the green quartz crystals, which indicate that the fluid, from which both amphiboles and quartz have crystallized, must have had a change in its chemical composition during the crystallization process. The electron microprobe data also suggests that traces of iron may be responsible for the amethyst coloration. Both quartz varieties are characterized by isotopic compositions that suggest mixing of magmatic and meteoric/marine fluids. The contribution of meteoric fluid is more significant in the final stages and reflects amethyst precipitation under more oxidizing conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Gems and Placers—A Genetic Relationship Par Excellence
Minerals 2018, 8(10), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8100470 - 19 Oct 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Gemstones form in metamorphic, magmatic, and sedimentary rocks. In sedimentary units, these minerals were emplaced by organic and inorganic chemical processes and also found in clastic deposits as a result of weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition leading to what is called the formation [...] Read more.
Gemstones form in metamorphic, magmatic, and sedimentary rocks. In sedimentary units, these minerals were emplaced by organic and inorganic chemical processes and also found in clastic deposits as a result of weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition leading to what is called the formation of placer deposits. Of the approximately 150 gemstones, roughly 40 can be recovered from placer deposits for a profit after having passed through the “natural processing plant” encompassing the aforementioned stages in an aquatic and aeolian regime. It is mainly the group of heavy minerals that plays the major part among the placer-type gemstones (almandine, apatite, (chrome) diopside, (chrome) tourmaline, chrysoberyl, demantoid, diamond, enstatite, hessonite, hiddenite, kornerupine, kunzite, kyanite, peridote, pyrope, rhodolite, spessartine, (chrome) titanite, spinel, ruby, sapphire, padparaja, tanzanite, zoisite, topaz, tsavorite, and zircon). Silica and beryl, both light minerals by definition (minerals with a density less than 2.8–2.9 g/cm3, minerals with a density greater than this are called heavy minerals, also sometimes abbreviated to “heavies”. This technical term has no connotation as to the presence or absence of heavy metals), can also appear in some placers and won for a profit (agate, amethyst, citrine, emerald, quartz, rose quartz, smoky quartz, morganite, and aquamarine, beryl). This is also true for the fossilized tree resin, which has a density similar to the light minerals. Going downhill from the source area to the basin means in effect separating the wheat from the chaff, showcase from the jeweler quality, because only the flawless and strongest contenders among the gemstones survive it all. On the other way round, gem minerals can also be used as pathfinder minerals for primary or secondary gemstone deposits of their own together with a series of other non-gemmy material that is genetically linked to these gemstones in magmatic and metamorphic gem deposits. All placer types known to be relevant for the accumulation of non-gemmy material are also found as trap-site of gemstones (residual, eluvial, colluvial, alluvial, deltaic, aeolian, and marine shelf deposits). Running water and wind can separate minerals according to their physical-chemical features, whereas glaciers can only transport minerals and rocks but do not sort and separate placer-type minerals. Nevertheless till (unconsolidated mineral matter transported by the ice without re-deposition of fluvio-glacial processes) exploration is a technique successfully used to delineate ore bodies of, for example, diamonds. The general parameters that matter during accumulation of gemstones in placers are their intrinsic value controlled by the size and hardness and the extrinsic factors controlling the evolution of the landscape through time such as weathering, erosion, and vertical movements and fertility of the hinterland as to the minerals targeted upon. Morphoclimatic processes take particular effect in the humid tropical and mid humid mid-latitude zones (chemical weathering) and in the periglacial/glacial and the high-altitude/mountain zones, where mechanical weathering and the paleogradients are high. Some tectono-geographic elements such as unconformities, hiatuses, and sequence boundaries (often with incised valley fills and karstic landforms) are also known as planar architectural elements in sequence stratigraphy and applied to marine and correlative continental environments where they play a significant role in forward modeling of gemstone accumulation. The present study on gems and gemstone placers is a reference example of fine-tuning the “Chessboard classification scheme of mineral deposits” (Dill 2010) and a sedimentary supplement to the digital maps that form the core of the overview “Gemstones and geosciences in space and time” (Dill and Weber 2013). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Open AccessArticle
Femtosecond Laser Ablation-ICP-Mass Spectrometry and CHNS Elemental Analyzer Reveal Trace Element Characteristics of Danburite from Mexico, Tanzania, and Vietnam
Minerals 2018, 8(6), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8060234 - 29 May 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2205
Abstract
Danburite is a calcium borosilicate that forms within the transition zones of metacarbonates and pegmatites as a late magmatic accessory mineral. We present here trace element contents obtained by femtosecond laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-mass spectrometry for danburite from Mexico, Tanzania, and Vietnam. [...] Read more.
Danburite is a calcium borosilicate that forms within the transition zones of metacarbonates and pegmatites as a late magmatic accessory mineral. We present here trace element contents obtained by femtosecond laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-mass spectrometry for danburite from Mexico, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The Tanzanian and Vietnamese samples show high concentrations of rare earth elements (∑REEs 1900 µg∙g−1 and 1100 µg∙g−1, respectively), whereas Mexican samples are depleted in REEs (<1.1 µg∙g−1). Other traces include Al, Sr, and Be, with Al and Sr dominating in Mexican samples (325 and 1611 µg∙g−1, respectively). Volatile elements, analyzed using a CHNS elemental analyzer, reach <3000 µg∙g−1. Sr and Al are incorporated following Ca2+ = Sr2+ and 2 B3+ + 3 O2− = Al3+ + 3 OH + □ (vacancy). REEs replace Ca2+ with a coupled substitution of B3+ by Be2+. Cerium is assumed to be present as Ce4+ in Tanzanian samples based on the observed Be/REE molar ratio of 1.5:1 following 2 Ca2+ + 3 B3+ = Ce4+ + REE3+ + 3 Be2+. In Vietnamese samples, Ce is present as Ce3+ seen in a Be/REE molar ratio of 1:1, indicating a substitution of Ca2+ + B3+ = REE3+ + Be2+. Our results imply that the trace elements of danburite reflect different involvement of metacarbonates and pegmatites among the different locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Emerald Deposits: A Review and Enhanced Classification
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020105 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3398
Abstract
Although emerald deposits are relatively rare, they can be formed in several different, but specific geologic settings and the classification systems and models currently used to describe emerald precipitation and predict its occurrence are too restrictive, leading to confusion as to the exact [...] Read more.
Although emerald deposits are relatively rare, they can be formed in several different, but specific geologic settings and the classification systems and models currently used to describe emerald precipitation and predict its occurrence are too restrictive, leading to confusion as to the exact mode of formation for some emerald deposits. Generally speaking, emerald is beryl with sufficient concentrations of the chromophores, chromium and vanadium, to result in green and sometimes bluish green or yellowish green crystals. The limiting factor in the formation of emerald is geological conditions resulting in an environment rich in both beryllium and chromium or vanadium. Historically, emerald deposits have been classified into three broad types. The first and most abundant deposit type, in terms of production, is the desilicated pegmatite related type that formed via the interaction of metasomatic fluids with beryllium-rich pegmatites, or similar granitic bodies, that intruded into chromium- or vanadium-rich rocks, such as ultramafic and volcanic rocks, or shales derived from those rocks. A second deposit type, accounting for most of the emerald of gem quality, is the sedimentary type, which generally involves the interaction, along faults and fractures, of upper level crustal brines rich in Be from evaporite interaction with shales and other Cr- and/or V-bearing sedimentary rocks. The third, and comparatively most rare, deposit type is the metamorphic-metasomatic deposit. In this deposit model, deeper crustal fluids circulate along faults or shear zones and interact with metamorphosed shales, carbonates, and ultramafic rocks, and Be and Cr (±V) may either be transported to the deposition site via the fluids or already be present in the host metamorphic rocks intersected by the faults or shear zones. All three emerald deposit models require some level of tectonic activity and often continued tectonic activity can result in the metamorphism of an existing sedimentary or magmatic type deposit. In the extreme, at deeper crustal levels, high-grade metamorphism can result in the partial melting of metamorphic rocks, blurring the distinction between metamorphic and magmatic deposit types. In the present paper, we propose an enhanced classification for emerald deposits based on the geological environment, i.e., magmatic or metamorphic; host-rocks type, i.e., mafic-ultramafic rocks, sedimentary rocks, and granitoids; degree of metamorphism; styles of minerlization, i.e., veins, pods, metasomatites, shear zone; type of fluids and their temperature, pressure, composition. The new classification accounts for multi-stage formation of the deposits and ages of formation, as well as probable remobilization of previous beryllium mineralization, such as pegmatite intrusions in mafic-ultramafic rocks. Such new considerations use the concept of genetic models based on studies employing chemical, geochemical, radiogenic, and stable isotope, and fluid and solid inclusion fingerprints. The emerald occurrences and deposits are classified into two main types: (Type I) Tectonic magmatic-related with sub-types hosted in: (IA) Mafic-ultramafic rocks (Brazil, Zambia, Russia, and others); (IB) Sedimentary rocks (China, Canada, Norway, Kazakhstan, Australia); (IC) Granitic rocks (Nigeria). (Type II) Tectonic metamorphic-related with sub-types hosted in: (IIA) Mafic-ultramafic rocks (Brazil, Austria); (IIB) Sedimentary rocks-black shale (Colombia, Canada, USA); (IIC) Metamorphic rocks (China, Afghanistan, USA); (IID) Metamorphosed and remobilized either type I deposits or hidden granitic intrusion-related (Austria, Egypt, Australia, Pakistan), and some unclassified deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Gems)
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