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 Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>