Gemstones and Famous Origins

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If you've ever been to a high end jewellery auction, you'll notice that many of the gems up for bidding will have a document called a provenance statement. This may be shown in alternative ways, but basically it functions just like an autobiography for the stone. It would tell us about the gem's history, any famous owners that carried it, and of course the place where it was unearthed.

Many connoisseurs prefer gemstones with this document because it adds an additional value to their purchase. This is true especially for high-end stones that belong to the top hierarchies of color, clarity, and carat weight within their respective varieties.


High-End Gemstones at Auction Can Fetch Even Greater Prices When Source Documentation Reveals Them to Have Originated from A Famously Known Mining Locality.


One of the most recognized declarations in a provenance statement is usually the origin location of a gemstone. Now, why do people find this important? Well, within the long history of each specific gemstone, notable sources sometimes come to light. These are places where a suitable quantity of very high end gems were mined from, so eventually they make a name for themselves amongst the jewellery communities.

People often say for example, that the term Kashmir sapphire should refer only to the finest specimens that boast the saturated cornflower blue color. This label stemmed from sapphire's historical Kashmir mine, where a lot of the velvety intense blue sapphires of legend were unearthed. Despite that mine's relatively short life, it was able to make such an impression on the trade, that even today the term "Kashmir" is used synonymously with high-end stones of a certain color.

This doesn't mean that all of the stones from that locality were good, but history seems to writes how people in the present time perceive things. Nowadays a beautiful blue sapphire at auction may likely fetch more value if its provenance statement declares it to be a product of the Kashmir region. The same goes for top tier rubies from Mogok, Myanmar, and vivid emeralds from Muzo, Colombia.


A gemstone's actual quality is inherent to itself, rather than solely being attributed to a certain place. Those famous localities can also produce poor quality products, and the opposite is also true for sources might not be as popular.

Though that being said, a famous source does add value to a gemstone in today's current market, more because of the community's demand (due to perception). People like gems that tell a story, especially if that story is about its rarity and scarcity as one of the stones mined out from a special time and place.

Sources have to be proven though, in order to add that kind of merit. Gemological laboratories sometimes include the entry "source origin opinion" as a part of their gemstone reports, using the presence of trace elements and chemistry to estimate where a certain gem originated from.


Gemcamp Laboratories

A Discovery Institute for Gemstones and Gemology

Our resident gemologists believe in encouraging public trust within the jewellery industry through shared education, value transparency and professionalism.

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