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
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