Jungle-Gems Newsletter, July 2005 Preview

Hello to all of you newsletter readers. You all know I don’t like to bug you with numerous emails, or pester you with sales promotions, but please bear with me this one time. This “Newsletter Preview” might be of value to some of you reader/clients. I just completed a 10-day buying trip around the State of Minas Gerais. I had intended to keep going south, and then west, but the trail of goods ended north of me here in Teofilo Otoni, so I was able to drop by my hometown for a few days before continuing the buying trip. July’s newsletter will be based on the facts, rumors, and gossip I encounter on trips like these, but this is an advance notice that I’m leaving within days on another buying trip. A “buying trip” means that I have lists of preferred goods from various clients around the world who like to source direct. I have the lovely and enviable position of snooping out good buys at minesites and small towns scattered out all over the interior of this vast country. I love doing this, and it allows you readers/clients to source goods at the best prices possible, as I work on small margins. After all, I’m selling other peoples stones and buying them with your money. A small margin works if I can sell enough goods. That’s why I’m writing this newsletter preview. Attached below you’ll find pics and comments of goods I found this past week while passing through regions of Northern Minas Gerais. I was able to buy many goods, but left much material behind at great prices due to lack of an immediate buyer. I don’t have the capital to stockpile goods waiting for someone to want it. I have to broker as much as possible right on the spot. So, please have a look at a sampling of what was available in Minas Gerais Brasil this week, and what is usually available when I return to those regions, and keep in mind that NEXT WEEK I’ll be in Southern Brasil, where a whole different variety of goods are produced: Amethyst geodes, Agate products of all types, gypsite specimens, tumbled stones, and mineral specimens etc. I would be happy to take on additional requests from any of you readers. Please feel free to contact me direct to my laptop, which I’ve been known to carry through the jungles of Amazonia. I stay in touch during the gemstone hunt, so email “direct to the jungle” at jungle-gems@superior-sites.com

Yesterday, early morning on Sunday June 13, 2005, I stopped in at the home of one of the local dealers, located in a small town on the banks of the Jequintinhonha River. She is known as Dona Iris, pictured below. Along with Dona Iris are pics of some of the 500kg of low-end tourmaline specimens that her son recently produced nearby. Some are free terminated crystals, and some are damaged and still on a qtz matrix. This material is similar to goods on my website from the “Urubu Mine”, located near Taquaral. Some of the crystals are completely red/pink, while some are covered with a lime green skin.

If that type tourmaline isn’t for you, below is shown some of the mid-level facet grade to bead grade, all the way to chips of tourmaline. Sometimes I find it all mixed up like this, freshly removed from matrix. The problem is sorting material like this so that someone can intelligently put a value or price on it. Who knows what is there? See what I mean below:

I saw only a 43gr crystal of anything near high-end facet grade. It was wanting to be an indicolite, but had a green overtone in one area and almost a bi-color effect of blue/green in another area. Included were some small pcs of rough in the 63gr lot. There were some nice indicolite-blue areas which would yield small ct gemstones. Anyway, my point is that there was not a lot of high-end available. However, I was only in the area less than 2hours on a Holiday Sunday morning, so I saw nowhere near what is surely lurking in this small town.

Most of this trip was spent in what I call “quartz country”. It is a huge area spread out across northern Minas. I failed to get photos of the main tourist town in the area, beautiful Diamontina. This is an old colonial town with old preserved architecture and streets paved with cobblestones about as big as a NY City manhole cover, all on steep inclined hills with a fabulous view of the surrounding Chapada Diamontina Mountain Range. (I’ll send pics next time!) So, while imagining what a beautiful area one passes through to get quartz, have a look at some of the beautiful production that has come out lately: The famous Diamontina lasers, Lemurian crystals including some bi-terminated, polished qtz including smokies, rose pinks, amethyst (from Para, the big points), spheres, natural points, even an 80kg/33pc lot of citrine pts, and some of the brightest and most outrageous quartz clusters. I was pondering a US$2,500 offer on one stunning 3x3ft cluster when a gentleman from Taiwan promptly paid US$4,000 for it right in front of me. Then he turned around and bought the only other stunning cluster they had too! This just shows you that competition is everywhere. It’s hard being poor, ain’t it folks? Take a look at some of these goods shown below:

If any of the above material is of any interest to any of you readers please email and let me know. I’ll be back in this area later this year sometime.

We will be doing more “buying trips” for our readers and clients throughout the remainder of this year, as we are no longing operating any mining projects and we have to do something to pay the bills. Next week it’s amethyst and agate country. Stay tuned and let me know if you want in on the hunt!

Regards ~ Kirk Bond, aka “Tomas” in Brasil, June 13, 2005