Came across an interesting article in the news today about Van Dieman Mines who operate a tin and sapphire mining venture in Tasmania, Australia. See here for the article in Life Style Extra:
We wish them lots of luck and wait with great interest to see how it turns out. We have found black spinel in our sapphire mine for years and wondered why it wasnt used by more people. So a couple of years ago, we decided to just start cutting this great black gem alternative and get it out there in the marketplace. Of course, black spinel has been cut for many years in Thailand but we have noticed a definite increase in interest in this gemstone since we started selling online in earnest.
The article indicates that some 3,500 carats of cut black spinel have been cut for sampling to the jewellery industry. We would like to point out that if you are interested in having a look at this excellent black diamond alternative, we are able to supply calibrated sizes in a range of shapes as well as cabochon gems. These are in stock now and we restock with new batches of cutting all the time. See our website for more information on Black Spinel or to browse our product catalogues.
We have not come across this company before although we have heard reports of new investment in sapphire mining in Tasmania. By the look of their annual report, they have not yet started in full production but are optimistic about the future. Take a look at their website if you are interested to find out more: Van Dieman Mines.
Cheers for now from Leah (holding down the fort while Andrew is at Lightning Ridge – report on this adventure to be posted next week).