Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UBC research unearths Canadian sapphires fit for a queen

31.07.2017

New research from UBC mineralogists could make it easier to find high-quality Canadian sapphires, the same sparkling blue gems that adorn Queen Elizabeth II's Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch.

The so-called Beluga sapphires were discovered near Kimmirut, Baffin Island, Nunavut by brothers Nowdluk and Seemeega Aqpik in 2002. The location is Canada's only known deposit of sapphires. The gems form the basis of the ceremonial brooch given to the Queen last week by Canada's Governor General David Johnston.


This is a sapphire crystal, 3.6 cm, and gemstone from Kimmirut.

Credit: B.S. Wilson

"These occurrences are the first reported sapphires hosted in this type of marble-related deposit," says Philippe Belley, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia. "We've discovered that it takes a fairly specific sequence of pressure and temperature events to create these gems. It's essentially a recipe."

Belley, UBC mineralogist Lee Groat, and colleagues, outline the findings in the July issue of the Canadian Mineralogist, where they discovered the unique recipe of pressure and temperature events from Earth's history that were required to form sapphires in this area.

... more about:
»UBC »deposits »diamonds »geological history »sapphire

The researchers compared this information to regional data to pinpoint the most promising areas for sapphire exploration. Those areas are expected to occur near a fault that separates the Lake Harbour Group and Narsajuaq terranes. A terrane is a fault-bounded area or region with a distinctive stratigraphy, structure, and geological history.

"This research has enabled us to identify the areas of greatest potential for Kimmirut-type sapphire deposits in southern Baffin Island, which will facilitate gemstone exploration in this part of the Arctic," says Groat, a UBC expert on gem deposits. "But it's also a deposit model that can be applied to exploration worldwide."

Sapphires are usually cut and polished into gemstones for jewelry. The Beluga sapphires are typically a striking blue, but are sometimes yellow or colourless. The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch consists of 48 Beluga sapphires, along with 400 diamonds from northern Canada, all set in Canadian white gold. Sapphires range in price from US$200 to $2,000 per carat.

Media Contact

Heather Amos
heather.amos@ubc.ca
604-822-3213

 @UBCnews

http://www.ubc.ca 

Heather Amos | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: UBC deposits diamonds geological history sapphire

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University

nachricht NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>