Crystals, Vol. 11, Pages 1189: Overview of Gemstone Resources in China
Crystals doi: 10.3390/cryst11101189
Gemstones are minerals of gem qualities used for adornment and decoration with the attributes of beauty, durability and rarity. Traditionally, although China has been regarded as the most important source for nephrite, over the past decades, a large variety of gemstone resources have been newly discovered in China owing to continuous exploration works. The vast land with various geological and geochemical backgrounds is rich in gemstone resources with potential for new deposits discoveries. In pegmatites, gemstones are related to granitic magma events and mainly occur in pegmatitic cavities, such as tourmaline, aquamarine, spodumene, spessartine, moonstone, quartz, apatite, and topaz. The eruption of Tertiary basaltic magma provides gem-quality sapphire, spinel, olivine, garnet, and zircon. The supergene oxidation zones of some copper and iron deposits in Hubei and Anhui province host gem-quality turquoise and malachite. Moreover, the formation of the nephrite deposit in China is mostly related to the carbonatite and serpentinite rocks involved in the metamorphic-metasomatic processes. This paper comprehensively introduces the distribution of gemstones deposits, as well as the gemological and mineralogical characteristics of gemstones in China. Our present investigation provides insights into the gemstone potential of China for further exploitation.
Free full text: Read More