Russia is a large country; it is, in fact, the largest nation in the world. It borders both Asian and European countries and also the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean. Russia is known to have vast gemstone reserves. When rating countries that have gemstones in abundance, Russia deserves a top spot on the list. There are several large areas in Russia that are immeasurably rich in mineral deposits. Ural mountains in Siberia are a treasure island for gemstones in Russia.
Russia is the second leading producer of diamonds, Botswana being the first. This great country holds about 22% of the world’s diamond production. Aside from diamonds, there are many other precious gemstones that are abundantly found in Russia. Mining of gemstones in Russia is not a new practice; it has been taking place for quite a long period of time. Russia is a vast and mineral-rich land. Here, you can find special gems that are not found anywhere else in the world.
Talking of gemstone mining in Russia, there are two major sites where this takes place. The Ural mountains in Siberia is an area that houses the most precious gemstones in the world. The Yekaterinburg mines in this area were established in 1723 by Tsar Peter who took over the abundant gemstones in this area. The Sakha Republic in Northeastern Russia holds a large pit that was used for mining diamond. This is where diamond mining is carried out exclusively in Russia.
Gemstones That Come From Russia
As earlier said, there are many gemstones that come from Russia, but the country is especially famous for exotic gemstones like Demantoid Garnets, Alexandrite, Diamond and other gemstones that will be mentioned later.
Demantoid Garnet is a rare gemstone that was first discovered in 1853 in the Ural mountains in Siberia. It has a distinctive green color and a unique appearance. The rarest variety of this Garnet has an inclusion called the horsetail inclusion. Demantoid is one of the rarest and most valuable colored gemstones. This precious gemstone is rarely found in large sizes.
Apart from the Demantoid Garnets, there are other types of Garnets that come in red (most common color), orange and a few more other colors. Generally, all the stones belonging to the Garnet family, including the Demantoid Garnets have a similar structure, but some different chemical properties and composition.
Alexandrite is a rare and beautiful colored gemstone. It is a variety of Chrysoberyl with exclusive properties that makes it one of the best gemstones in the Chrysoberyl family. Alexandrite is amazing in that it has an interesting characteristic display of colors. The classy Alexandrite has a green color in the daytime and red at night in incandescent light. Being one of the hardest and most durable gemstones in the world with a Mohs scale’s hardness of 8.5, it can be cut and fashioned to make various ornamental objects, like pendants, necklaces, rings, earrings. It is one of the birthstones designated to the month of June.
Mined in the Ekaterinburg area close to the Ural Mountains, Emerald is one of Russia’s finest gemstones. It has a green color, and it is said to have gotten the name “emerald” from the French word “Emeraude” and the Greek term “smaragdos,” meaning “green stone,” as a result of its naturally occurring color.
Russia has been known to be one of the producers of the best Emeralds since the 19th century, and at some point in time, the whole world looks up to the European country as the biggest source of the gemstone. On a yearly basis, Emerald is mined all over the world because of its esteemed value.
Like many other gemstones, Amethyst is available in different colors like purple, light shade of red and violet. Of the quartz family of stones to which it belongs, amethyst is the most valued.
The Siberian Amethyst is a special type of the amethyst gemstone found in Russia. Its main purple shade or lilac color is different from other types mined in other parts of the world. Its brightness makes it one of the most craved gemstones.
The amber gemstone is formed as a result of the fossilization of tree resins over a period of time. One or probably the most unique thing about this gemstone is that it is sometimes found to contain a dead insect, little plants and symbiotic organisms trapped and enclosed in it during the formation. This alone makes it intriguing and amazing.
In Russia, this gemstone is found in the Kaliningrad oblast where it is mined in large quantities, though lesser to the quantity extracted in the coastline of the Baltic region’s sea. And in terms of appearance, it is naturally occurring in colors like brown, orange, blue, yellow, white and more.
Not only is amber used in jewelry production, but it is also used in designing the interior of buildings, to give a sparkling and glittering look. In Pushkin, Russia, Catherine Palace has a room decorated with amber. When mixed with gold, this gemstone makes the beauty of a room unexplainable.
Aquamarine is a form of Beryl the family of which the most valuable color is the deep blue shade. Normally, the Aquamarine gemstone varies in shades of blue ranging from the sky blue to a bluish green hue. The deeper the blueness, the higher the market value.
The term Aquamarine was derived from two Latin words “aqua” and “marine” which means water and sea respectively. The word is used to describe the bluish-green color of the sea, the most valuable shade of the gemstone. In Russia, Aquamarine gemstones are majorly found in the Ural mountains. It has a Mohs scale hardness of 7.5 – 8.
Russia is the most mineral-rich country in Europe. It accounts for the greatest percentage of the total gemstones mined in Europe. One of the reasons for this is the country’s large geographical stretch, which extends from Europe even to Asia. Other gemstones mined in Russia are Charolite, Topaz, Citrine, Sphene, Jadeite, Agate, and Malachite.