Summer 2016 Gems & Gemology:
Breaking the Ice on Canadian Diamond Mining
Issue covers Fabergé figures, responsible mining and much more
In the Summer 2016 issue of Gems & Gemology (G&G), researchers journey to the remote and subarctic Diavik mine to capture the fascinating story of Canadian diamonds, examine two exquisite Fabergé figures, and review ongoing efforts in responsible mining. GIA’s quarterly professional journal also highlights a colorful and productive era in Colombian emerald mining and examines the process of cutting a 3,019 ct white opal into a museum-quality piece. This issue is now available in print and online.
G&G’s cover story, “Mining Diamonds in the Canadian Arctic: The Diavik Mine,” explores the mine’s discovery, development and operations, and looks to its planned closure in 2024, when the site will be restored to nearly its original condition. GIA’s Dr. James Shigley, Russell Shor, Pedro Padua and Dr. Mike Breeding, along with the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Dr. Steven Shirey and Diavik’s Douglas Ashbury, look beyond the mine’s value as a premier diamond source to its value as a window into the depths of the Canadian Shield. By gathering information from the kimberlites at Diavik, geologists can reconstruct the early history of the North American continent. The article is supplemented with exclusive videos captured at the Diavik mine.
Figure 1. This pale yellow type Ia “cape” diamond from the Diavik mine,
weighing 187.66 ct, is the largest Canadian diamond to date.
Photo by Sood Oil (Judy) Chia.
Next, jewelry historians Timothy Adams and Christel Ludewig McCanless discuss the design, construction and history of two Fabergé hardstone figures that depict the Romanov empresses’ Cossack bodyguards. The issue’s third article, by GIA’s Jennifer-Lynn Archuleta, provides insight into the colored gem industry’s ongoing efforts to establish ethical, sustainable mine-to-market supply chains.
In the issue’s Notes and New Technologies section, lapidary Ted Grussing reveals the special considerations he applied to cutting a 3,019 ct gem-quality white opal from Australia into a 1,040 ct finished gem with play-of-color across its entire surface. In a field report, GIA’s Robert Weldon and his coauthors journey to the world-renowned Chivor mine and revisit Peter Rainier’s achievements as manager during an illustrious era of Colombian emerald mining.
The regular Lab Notes, Micro-World and Gem News International sections round out the issue. G&G’s free archive containing every issue from 1934 to present, more in-depth coverage, hundreds of additional photos, and exclusive video footage are available on GIA’s website at http://www.gia.edu/gems-