Recent discoveries have revealed that Ethiopia could be an emerging source of other coloured gemstones apart from opal, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
GIA supervisor of field gemmology Wim Vertriest and a team of GIA gemologists travelled to Ethiopia to document the development of the nation’s gem resources and to collect samples for GIA’s reference collection. Vertriest will present the results of a new study – “Ethiopia: A new source of sapphires and emeralds,” at GIA’s 110th Gemstone Gathering in Bangkok scheduled for November 28. In his role as supervisor, Vertriest oversees the field gemmology department and curates GIA’s coloured stone research collection in Bangkok.
“Ethiopia has long been known for opals but recently, there were discoveries of commercial-quality blue sapphires and emeralds of various quality,” said GIA.