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THE  CORUNDUMINIUM

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BRAZIL
             
     For a country as large and rich in gems as Brazil, there are surprisingly few corundum deposits.  The first two described below were apparently found and mined by an American stone dealer who "turned the sapphires into beads and the rubies into precision cabs", most of which he sold in New York.  The legend continues that he saved the best crystals until recently. 
 

SERRA  DOS  POMBAS (PIGEON MOUNTAIN),  BRUMADO  RUBIES

 
Etched crystals have a much richer red interior than the outside suggests.   On the right  are the two largest and finest of the lot of about 200 specimens (left) totaling 14,750 carats (2,950 grams) that were saved.  As the mine is shut down (exhausted I was told), there probably won't be many of these around.
 

BAHIA SAPPHIRES

 
 

vic.  RIO  DE  JANEIRO

Some large drum-shaped prismatic sapphires have been recovered in the hills surrounding this famous city.

 

LOCALITY UNKNOWN

   Large pale blue sapphire specimens, often called boat anchors, come from wherever this is (Bahia?).  They seem to be altering to a silvery mica called margarite.  The deposit appears to be quite massive, and this material has been imported into the U. S. by the ton.  It may be from the same locality as the five big ones below.

 
GIANT SAPPHIRE CRYSTALS

     Five huge crystals, probably from BBahia, were sent to me in late 2009 for - er - "cleaning" (owner knew I would not let them go).  These were the best and largest crystallized specimens, saved from allegedly about 70,000 tons of material extracted from the mine.  They were purchased for the collection in June, 2010.  The largest of these, a doubly terminated barrel-shaped prism (left image), weighs over 35 pounds.  The second image shows an unusual "bent" crystal, whose unusual habit may be explained by inclusions or ramp dislocations - any ideas?

 
 
 
     There are a couple of recent localities related to me by email. (to be described)