Sapphire Mining

Regions where Sapphires are Mined

Locations Of The World’s Sapphire Mining Sites

Sapphires are found in both igneous and metamorphic rock,When sapphires are rooted in solid rock, they are considered “primary deposits.”  However, sapphires are frequently found some distance from their original source.The process of erosion moves rock fragments into streams where they are fractured, releasing any gems they contain which from their weight travel downstream in rivers and become “secondary deposits” or “alluvial deposits”.

One of the hundreds of sapphire mines around the world

One of the hundreds of sapphire mines around the world

Rocks exposed on the earth’s surface are relentlessly scoured by wind and water.  The process of erosion moves rock fragments into streams where they are fractured, releasing any gems they contain.  In places where the current naturally slows, the heavy gemstones settle into the river or stream bed.  With time, sapphires become concentrated and the site becomes a type of secondary deposit called an “alluvial deposit.”

Alluvial gem gravel is the most lucrative source of sapphires because it contains concentrated amounts of gemstones that are relatively easy to extract.  The principles of alluvial mining are the same all over the world; only the level of mechanization differs from place to place.  Primitive alluvial mining can require nothing more than a pan, sieve, or basket.

Start the tour with Southeast Asia where many of the sapphires from our collection come from.