Jungle-Gems.com May Newsletter

Hello from Machadinho do Oeste, Rondonia Brasil. This is a place you will only find on a very good map. We are near Ariquemes, south of Porto Velho, near the Bolivian border. We are happy that we can get online out here to bring you gem trade related news once again.

The heavy rainy season completely shut down our Amazon Opal Mine these past 5 months, but to our surprise a lot of the local Topaz mines were able to continue spotty production during the wet season. We have aligned with many local saw-shops to supply 100% sawn-clean white topaz to the trade. It is sorted and priced in increments of 1-3gr, 3-6gr, 6-9gr, over 9gr per piece. The goods are priced by the kg, with 30kg being a minimum quantity to allow for export. Jungle Gems is currently brokering this material to the world market for a small procurement fee. E-mail us if you would like price quotes and further information.

We have heard stories, and are currently waiting for samples, of some sizable pieces of “Amazon Jungle petrified wood”. The material is from a tree locally called “Jacoba”. It is a natural hardwood tree, and we plan to find out in the coming weeks how well the material will saw and polish. We hope to be able to include photos in next months’ newsletter. Stay tuned…

We are currently re-opening operations at the Amazon Opal Mine. We have completed our required retaining dams/settling ponds to allow our wash water runoff to return clean to the Amazon River System, and we have improved the comfort level of our site, which is deep in the jungle. Of course, electricity is still over 100km away at the closest point, so our “comfort level” is a very relative thing. We will be working hard the rest of this year to find more of the hard to get Red Amazon Opal. Some photos from the past few weeks are attached below.

Click Pictures To Enlarge

One of our associates, geologist Dr. Hugo, just returned from Anahi and Corumba over on the Bolivian border, a little south of here. Of course, that is the location of the worlds’ only producing Ametrine Mine. This site had a very nice write up in GIA’s Gems & Gemology Magazine a few years ago. It seems that all the production has been contracted out to Asia, and very little material is available to anyone arriving there to buy. Dr. Hugo brought back a small quantity of fine gem-grade rough with excellent color saturation and separation. He also tells us that the current management is operating the mine very well. This explains why very little Ametrine rough is available on the streets of Corumba. Many of you might have heard of Corumba, an eco-travelers dream known as the “Gateway to the Pantanal”.

During our travels in this region over the past weeks, we have seen many armed convoys of Brasilian Federal Police. They are putting pressure on the illegal, yet highly productive, diamond mining operations going on in the Aripuana Indian Reservation, near a town called “Espigao do Oeste”, here in the State of Rondonia. The Federal pressure is even on the local black market moneychangers, who are refusing new business as a result. The cambistas (moneychangers), who have a working relationship with the federal government in a “gray legal area”, do not want to assist the transfer of capital to purchase the illegally obtained “Aripuana diamonds”. There is a similar situation going on in the northern Brasilian State of Roraima…

A new acquaintance of ours, Sr. Joao, is working with some very nicely colored granite. He is extracting and shipping 1-3sq.m blocks, weighing many tons each. They are also doing some local slabbing and polishing. They are currently exporting to the world market out of Vitoria on the Brasilian coastline, about 2,000 miles away! Contact Jungle-Gems.com by email for price and availability quotes.

We will be back in June with more Gem Trade news. We hope you enjoy our information and will return soon.

Prepared for you by Kirk “Tomas” Bond, pres. Jungle Gems