Gemstone buyers in PNG want quality stones, expert says

 A LAPIDARIST says gemstone buyers want quality stones, an area where more awareness is needed.

Gemologist and graduate in rough diamonds, Amit Chauhan, said the gemstone business was still a fledgling industry in Papua New Guinea.

Gemstone buyers in PNG want quality stones, expert says
Gemstone buyers in PNG want quality stones, expert says

Chauhan said last year, people had brought in stones that were mostly glass, a few quartz and peridot.

He said the quartz was not of good quality.

He said a gemstone was a rare, precious and durable mineral, organic material or rock which could be cut and polished to be used in jewelry and other decoratives.

Chauhan, who is director of 3 Powers Ltd, an alluvial mining company that focuses on limiting the use of mercury, said many Papua New Guineans had gemstones, but because there was no gemstone cutting facility in the country, the sector had not yet developed.

He said this yesterday in response to an article in this newspaper of gemstones being sold on the streets of Lae.

“If we try to reach the international market then the shipping charges are higher than the value of semi-precious gemstones.”

Chauhan said pricing gemstones was done through inspection and weighing.

“Few people that I have been dealing with are holding big pieces, some of them are 2kg or heavier with no proper crystal structure or form,” he said.

“Those stones could be obsidian (glass) which has some value per kilo but there is a need to connect to the right buyers.”

Chauhan said gemstone dealers and collectors were interested in gemstones that had a defined crystal form in which the crystal formed naturally and was not in faceted form.

“Lots of people with faceted stones told me that they found them in them river or under the earth while digging,” he said.

He said gemstones were normally divided in to two categories, semi-precious and precious.

Both categories had some value depending on colour, transparency, hardness and shape.

“Semi-precious stones were normally used in artificial jewelry, costume jewelry and sometimes custom-studded in gold and silver jewelry.”

Chauhan said there are images of valued gemstones which could be easily found on the internet.

“These gemstones can be sold easily, parallel to this there are few images of obsidian (glass) which is sometimes confused for emerald,” he said.

TheNational/ #PacificMiningWatch

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