InColor Fall/Winter 2018 (Issue 37)

42 InColor ׀ Winter 2018 InRuby Mining Rubies in Greenland The Aappaluttoq Ruby Mine The desire for a transparent supply chain of gemstones, where the source is known and the route to market can be demonstrated, is consistently increasing. Retailers are looking to partner with colored gemstone mining companies to document the origin and supply chain and make sure their stock is compliant with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) guidelines. Having a source of ruby with environmentally-sound and labor-responsible procedures can be a marketing advantage with some market sectors, such as the millennial genertion. The Greenland Ruby mining operation has received interest in the trade to possibly help fulfill that need. By Andrew Lucas, Manager Field Gemology GIA; Aaron Palke, Senior Research Scientist GIA; Wim Vertriest, Supervisor Field Gemology GIA T he gemstone industry in Greenland has taken some large steps in 2017 with the opening of the Aap- paluttoq ruby mine. The mine is located in the Qeqertarsuatsiaat area and mine development has been going on for over a decade. Production started in early summer of 2017. A GIA field gemology team visited the Greenland ruby operations in September 2017 to document the operation and obtain samples for the colored stone research collection (Figure 1). History For over 200 years, the Inuit have worked with scien- tists from Europe to study the ruby deposits in Green- land (Boggild, O.B., 1953). An exploration team with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland found ruby in an outcrop in 1966. They researched the history Figure 1. Field gemologist Wim Vertriest holds up a ruby in-situ sample he just removed from the pit. (Photo: Andrew Lucas/GIA)