The gemstones of
Tourmalines, topaz, opals, quartz varieties, and emeralds are among the most important gemstones found in Brazil. The Paraiba tourmaline, named after the location where it was discovered, and the Imperial topaz, which is now mined only in Brazil, are two of the rarest stones discovered in the country. Some of the world's finest aquamarines can be found in the mines of Minas Gerais, where the world's largest cut aquamarine, Dom Pedro, was discovered.
The Geology of
Minas Gerais' history has always been linked to the region's abundance of mineral resources. The discovery of gold in the mountains of Minas Gerais triggered the world's longest gold rush period in the 1690s, and made the region Brazil’s gold mining centre. The mines of this region contain some of the most spectacular gemstones, including emerald, aquamarine, rubellite, imperial topaz, alexandrite, and amazonite.
The country of
Amethyst was once similarly prized as rubies and sapphires and with its noble violet colour, a gemstone particularly admired by royalty. In the early 19th century, a large quantity of amethyst was discovered in the mines of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Since then, amethyst mining has become a large undertaking in several Brazilian states. These new discoveries led to a drastic drop in value, although demand is still strong due to this alluring gemstone's enchanting beauty.