Ads Top

Global Warming
Part 1 of 2
Increasing world temperatures caused mainly by our burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are melting glaciers and polar ice at an incredible rate. The receding coastlines and loss of snow cover due to global warming, have revealed more gem deposits in Greenland. Particularly exciting is the discovery of a new source of high quality rubies - a worthy alternative to the largely boycotted blood rubies of Burma (see my past post).

A Canadian company, True North Gems acquired property in the Fiskenaesset (Qeqertarsuatsiaat) area marked in the map above, where they have been exploring for rubies and pink sapphires since 2004. The company hopes to attain the same success as their competitors did with Canadian diamonds - Canada is now the third largest producer of diamonds and these are all conflict-free (see my past post). In 2005, a huge carat ruby was discovered on their property. The picture above left shows the final carved 302 carat gemstone, valued at about $500,000.

The controversy is all about the right of the Inuit to continue small scale prospecting and mining of the gemstones as they have done for hundreds of years. Greenland is actually a colony of Denmark. The Inuit claim their colonialist government and specifically the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum have systemically thwarted, stone-walled and harassed local people, denying their legal rights to mineral access on their ancestral lands. They are currently not allowed to sell precious gemstones like rubies. The situation is so bad, these gemstones have been called apartheid rubies in some quarters. There is a petition to support the Inuit here.

Caught in all this is True North Gems which abides with whatever laws there are. They have a track record of providing benefit to local communities and state they have no problem with small scale mining and selling of rubies by the Inuit. The company is still in the exploration stage and has not sold any rubies yet.

Greenland is supposedly on track for independence from Denmark but with the discovery of off-shore oil and gas, who knows when native Greenlanders will be able to manage their own affairs.

Fiar Trade Jewelry : Greenland Ruby Update
Inkling Magazine : The Frozen Land of Rubies
Greenland's Apartheid Rubies
Wikipedia : Greenland Ruby

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. One thing I'd like to add, as the author of some of the articles you link to, is that even through True North says they support small scale mining, they will not support the 16th August Union that represents the small scale miners.

    They have thrown in their lot with Greenland's Bureau of Mining and Petroleum (BMP). The BMP does not want to give the Inuit any mineral rights probably because if they do with rubies, they will set a precedent for oil, gas, diamonds and a host of other resources on that huge land mass.

    True North's support of small scale mining in Greenland supports the governments' rules, which up until now have made the qualifications for small scale mining as difficult as large scale mining.

    All this is up in the air at present, however, as Greenland got home rule yesterday, which means that the BMP may have to go back to the table.

  2. That's good news to hear, Marc about home rule. Your articles wondered if home rule will ever come given the riches of oil and gas but I am pleased the Danish government did the right thing quickly.

    No reputable company would go against the laws of any land. So hopefully the Inuit now will be able to determine what laws they need to pass to make it fair for themselves.

  3. Interesting article. Wonder what the native Inuit tribe decided? Since market value on gemstones is determined by the amount available (the supply) it would behoove the Inuit tribe to make sure they don't upset this balance and cause the market value of the ruby to drop.

    1. Not to is all low value, low grade material and not worth very much so it will not upset much of anything

  4. The Greenland ruby is low end, low value material and I wish people would stop saying otherwise.
    it is near borderline industrial grade pink and red corundum being totally opaque or some of it is slightly semi translucent.
    In the real world of hard core wholesale ruby and sapphire trading it is noting at all to get excited baout while there are several other sources at present that produce the same or similar quality including a significant percent being truly gem quality,,,Notably Mozambique.
    True North will struggle to make money on their deposit because it is low grade material...unfortunately.
    It has a value...but Not anywhere near the value they are stating or implying


You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

Powered by Blogger.