Brazilian Citrines from Diamantina

Brazilian Citrines from Diamantina

When it comes to Quartz, Brazil reigns supreme.

However ever since the global recession in 2008, Brazil has been a casualty that has never fully recovered. Brazilian Amethyst and citrine created a demand that is now struggling to supply, which has caused many in the industry to turn to the steady supply from East Africa.

As with Tourmaline, for me, the Brazilian stones still possess a pedigree that many are willing to pay a premium for, it’s not a legacy built on assumed romantic credentials (like with Kashmir Sapphires or Siam Rubies), but actual performance…simply put Brazilian stones have more bite. They offer unrivalled saturation and dynamite brilliance but are fast becoming collector’s stones as demand is eating through the buffer that generations of Brazilian mining have amassed for dealers. One day these stones will be gone and the market will realise the decline Brazil has seen over the last decade.

The finest citrine I have seen is from Diamantina, a small town that once produced diamonds in the east of Minas Gerais. These golden stones are a rarity from this location and its production is solely for mineral collectors now, this is by no means a commercial deposit. A good friend of mine and an expert in Brazilian stones is Ken Gurney, a gemstone dealer based out of New York, he said “If you’re a museum and want to showcase the finest citrine, go to Diamantina, if you plan to make a line of jewellery forget it, it’s too rare”

The only stones I’ve seen cut from Diamantina were in Tuscon in 2017.

These stones were over 100 years old and were on display in the Idar Oberstein exhibit, these were, at the time, the finest citrine I’ve seen, fine palmeira citrines attributed to the Diamantina deposit and were set into a cross pendant dated circa 1880.

Rarely in this industry do we ever get a second chance to glimpse a historic parcel of legacy gemstones. I got that chance at Tuscon and it felt like going back in time, gazing at the stones that the master carvers out of Idar would have worked with.

An acquaintance of mine, Jake Thompson a UK based jeweller who I’ve come to know over the years had acquired it, he told me how he intended to create a limited-edition line of jewelry out of it. He may have got the best gem quality stones but as a collector I value the truly unique and with that I managed to track down the dealer who had collected it. A Brazilian dealer who was finally parting with his Diamantina stones after nearly 50 years. He told me that the particular parcel I had just studied had been collated over two decades, he told me of how he may be left with the remaining stones for a further two decades as the sale had just stripped the eyes out of the parcel. I was lucky enough to get a mineral specimen, saved by the fact it couldn’t yield a clean stone but still harbored the intense golden color that made this booth one of the most visited at Tuscon this year.

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