In from the cold

In from the cold, think about gemstone mining and you might think of Diamonds being mined in Africa, or maybe even gold in Australia.

You may even think of Zambian Emeralds.

All of which are mined in hot climates.

However, at the other end of the climate spectrum there are some gemstones whose journeys are made that more difficult by the remoteness and extreme cold of where they are mined.

Today, I will be talking about six such gems that we can only enjoy thanks to the determination and dedication of the miners, who brave those extreme conditions.

In from the cold

You can’t be at all surprised that four out of the six gems are mined in or around Siberia/Russia?

Now can you?

Siberian Dendrite

The snow white body colour of the Dendrite is permeated with manganese and iron inclusions that have formed into tree like patterns brining to mind the beauty of a vast winter snow scape.

In from the cold
In from the cold

Different patterns and variations in colour are evident in every stone. Making each piece a one of a kind with no two alike .

Siberian Emerald

The Ural mountains sit north to south where the European side of Russia meets the Asian side.

Two worlds colliding you could say!

It’s also where this breath-taking emerald, which is amongst the finest ever seen, is found.

In from the cold
In from the cold

What is astounding is its colour and clarity. The colour is almost Paraiba in tone with phenomenal clarity.

Clarity in a stone, the only stone, where inclusions are acceptable.

That being said, this in no way detracts from the beauty and uniqueness of this most recent source of one of the big five.


Charoite is only found in one location in the world which is along the River Charo, near the gold mining town of Aldon in Russia.

In from the cold
In from the cold

It’s lavender to purple colours make it very calming and pleasing to the eye.

Also it’s unusual swirling, fibrous appearance gives this little known gemstone a striking display unmatched by any other gem.


The graceful play of light that dances across the face of Labradorite, known as Labradorescence, brings to mind the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

In from the cold
In from the cold

The natural wonder can be seen in the skies above the Labrador Peninsula in Canada where the gem was first found and from where it takes its name.

The gem is still mined there in an area that is frost free for less than 100 days a year.


The intense, bright blues of Kyanite have long been compared to that of the beautiful Sapphires of Sri Lanka and Kashmir.

In from the cold
In from the cold

A very high, quality variety of the gem was found in Nepal in 1995  in the Daha area.

The summers here are short and the winters are long.

Even with favourable weather getting here is an arduous task.

Due to the crystal formation of this gem there is a lot of wastage when cutting.

Which not only adds to the uniqueness of this stone, but also speaks volumes of the Lapidarist’s skills that we even have this gem to admire and adorn ourselves with.

Chrome Diopside

The chrome diopside source, is in Southern Siberia, was only discovered in 1988, relatively new, and the gem quickly gained popularity.

Due to the snow and freezing conditions, chrome diopside can only be mined for between two to three months during the summer.

In from the cold
In from the cold

The dark bottle greens of this stone mixed with its enviable sparkle and brilliance have earned it the nickname “The Russian Emerald”.

In more recent times Chrome Diopside has become better known as Imperial Chrome Diopside.

In my opinion a much more fitting and better name, saves for any mix ups or confusion.

Don’t you agree?

Why not check out the link below for “The world’s most expensive jewels|1





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