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Located on the West Coast of Africa and with its southern border neighbouring South Africa, Namibia is one of the world’s largest providers of Diamonds. But while these mines are very mechanical, many of its coloured gemstone mines are run on an artisanal basis. One noticeable exception is the Demantoid Garnet mine in the Erongo region, which is reportedly discovering between 4000 to 5000 carats per month.
One thing to bear in mind with artisanal gem mining is that mines will open and close as these entrepreneurial explorers chase new finds in different regions. The mines of Neu Schwaben, in the Karibib area of Namibia, yielded a large quantity of blue and green Tourmaline in the 1950’s, virtually closed throughout the 90’s and today have only a handful of miners working through surface alluvial deposits, hoping that the best finds are yet to come.
In the north of the country, a small quantity of Spessartite Garnet with a vivid orange colour has been found near the Kunene River and is being mined by a handful of people. Namibia annually also uncovers a small quantity of Aquamarine, Helidor and Tiger’s Eye.
A Namibian Rose Quartz bracelet.
GIA qualified Gemmologists
Members of the British Jewellery Association
Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation