Jungle-Gems March 2003 Newsletter

Hello to all of our regular readers, and a special welcome to our many new subscribers. We are writing this month’s newsletter from Minas Gerais, happy to be back home after a prolonged visit to the Arizona USA Gemshows and a side trip to NY-USA. We are only slowly getting back to work, preferring to spend time with our families before getting too involved in the sometimes overwhelming gem trade here in Brasil. But as March is now coming to a close, the rainy season is slowly abating which allows all the various mining endeavors to begin full operations for the year. It is time to get back to work…

Our webmasters, Rob & Brad in Tucson AZ, have been working hard on many updates for our website, and have been prodding me for more titles, descriptions, and comments on our displayed goods. We have hundreds of new items in the works for uploading to the site. It is a big job to personally and adequately identify each piece, but we are working on it as time permits. We will be expanding the Amazon Amber page, creating a new page for the many available mining and business opportunities, posting our fabulous Diamontina Lasers with Phantoms, totally redoing our badly outdated and under-sized gemstone pages, putting many items onto the “On Sale” page, and our new highlight will be the “Dealer’s Area” for special wholesale/quantity offers. It is a big undertaking, all to bring you a better website with the best deals at www.jungle-gems.com. Check back often for many new deals, sales, and updates coming your way soon.

We have expanded our mining operations management staff with the addition of 2 new men. Mr. Shay Mangiapane, formerly of the Arkansas USA Quartz region, returned to Brasil with me and is here ready to take on a supervisor’s position in the Amazon Region. He was here with us 2 yrs ago for a brief assignment, so he knows what he is getting into by working with us in the jungle. All the lack of modern conveniences, lots of heat, insects, stick shack housing, dense tropical jungle traveling, dangerous wild animals, and mud, mud, and more mud… all to bring you more Amazon Opal and Amazon Amber. Shay will be giving operational and jungle survival training to our other new mining supervisor: Mr. Eydalvur Carlsson, who is arriving for the first time next week, from the Faroe Islands. That’s right, the Faroe Islands! We have someone coming from the Arctic Circle Region to help us in the Amazon jungle. We will surely have the first polar bear in the neighborhood! Later this year we hope to get one of our webmasters here too, Mr. Rob Jewell, from Tucson AZ. Both Eydalvur and Rob are highly capable with computers, which should also help us tend to you, our readers and clients, with even better service than you have already come to expect from jungle-gems.com.

We have many other options available to anyone who may be interested in a radical life-style change and would like to consider participating in various mining opportunities here in Brasil. Options include mines of tourmaline, emerald, topaz, diamond, and more. We are currently only seeking investing participating partners. For more information contact me through our website.

We will be back in our Teofilo Otoni offices next week looking at goods. Since we have been mostly home since returning from the USA, we don’t have a lot of photos this issue frankly because we haven’t been looking at goods. We will do an “updated March newsletter” late next week showing you what we have come across during the coming week. We will be looking for some pre-ordered goods including: faceted amethyst, low-priced tourmaline, jacare quartz, kunzites, high-quality dendrite quartz, over 2ct andalucites and apatites, large faceted citrine and topaz, and more. We will send out our “updated march newsletter” full of photos showing you what we found in a week at the office. We will ask your indulgence in reviewing this photo-less newsletter…

The Teofilo Otoni Gemshow will be held this year between Aug 19-22, in Praca Tiridentes as usual. Known as the FIPP (Feira Internacional de Pedras Precioso), and billed as “The Show at the Source”, it is truly a nice show and a chance for any visitor to meet the over 300 local dealers who will have goods on display. If any of our readers would like to attend this year’s show, we will be happy to assist with info and hotel reservations here in Teofilo Otoni. Further info can be found at www.gea.com.br

By the way, we have already booked our Quartzite booth for 2004 at the Desert Gardens Gem & Mineral Show. It is our only scheduled show for the remainder of this year. We will be at the same place, looking forward to seeing all of our friends once again, and hoping to meet many more of you there next year.

Mining update: Some of our older friends might remember that in 1998 we operated the famous old Santa Rosa Tourmaline Mine using our ground penetrating radar computers, with mixed results after 15 months of effort and expense. Now, our old friend Mr. Axel tells us that the “New Santa Rosa” is looking very promising. This site was opened up last year in a typically Brasilian fashion. While widening the road, county road graders uncovered some very nice tourmaline very close to the surface. This is the poor dirt road that runs from Itambacuri to Malacacheta. We passed over this exact spot 100’s of times getting to and from the old original Santa Rosa Mine. Now this “side-of-the-road” tourmaline deposit is occupied by various extraction crews, all producing in limited amounts, yet all very optimistic that much gem-grade tourmaline is set to enter the market this year. We will keep our eyes on things in hopes of bringing to you the best of this production, as both mineral specimens and faceted goods.

More mining news: The famous Pederneira Tourmaline Mine near Sao Jose de Safira is still producing some top quality specimens, eventhough the owners are saying nothing outside their established circle of buyers. We talked with others who are now operating from the back-side of the hill, hoping to increase production from this top quality, mostly blue tourmaline bearing deposit. Again, we will be watching for any available goods.

More mining news: There is a recently producing amethyst region in the Brasilian State of Amazonia, not too far from our Amazon Opal deposit. The material is very good color, but striated and <20gr sizes. However, very large quantities are available for export at a surprisingly low price. We plan to visit this site in late April-early May and our newsletter at that time will contain a full report with lots of photos of available goods. This amethyst will be no better than cabochon/carving grade, but at the expected price we are in hopes of finding a market for it.

Mining rumors: We hear through the gemstone grapevine that new areas have been found near the Anahi Ametrine Mine in Bolivia. Our contacts are looking for financial backing to begin operations to produce more of the fine ametrine coming from the only known source in the world. We of course hope to have marketing access to any new goods coming available this year. Currently all ametrine production from the Anahi Mine is pre-sold and not generally available from the source. This might soon change…

Amazon Amber update: Our source for this material tells us that there is still no new material available, to our disappointment. This beautiful material was our best seller at the Quartzite Show this year, and we were hoping to add to our stock with new rough. Fortunately, we have many kg’s in our safe that we will be working into finished goods through the course of this year. But, we may already have all there is to find… for the time being.

The Paraiba Tourmaline Mine of northern Brasil is again producing some of the world’s best, and rarest, gemstones. We sometimes see some in the praca here in Teofilo Otoni. Of course, expect sky-high prices as usual…

Aquamarine mining news: An old friend of ours has been producing some very clean, large material from the State of Espirito Santos. We looked at a clean, nicely colored natural aquamarine crystal of almost 6” shortly before we left for the AZ gem shows in December, and our friend tells us that he is still producing. This is a great opportunity to stock up on aquamarines because our friend sells for ridiculously low prices. He says he has so much he can sell cheap, and he is! Contact us for more info about excellent prices on faceted aquamarines, or nice natural crystal specimens.

Well, that’s about it from Brasil this week. Our “updated March newsletter” with photos will be coming to you very soon. I’m taking the family to the beach one more time this weekend, then back to work. We’ll be in touch, and thanks for visiting us at jungle-gems.com.

~ jungle-gems newsletter prepared by Kirk “Tomas” Bond