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New gem native to Canada, company says
Last Updated Wed, 29 Oct 2003 16:06:00
A gem discovered in the Yukon this summer is the first of its kind
and unique to Canada, a Vancouver company said Tuesday.
True North Gems says that consulting mineralogists and gemologists
have confirmed that the blue beryl they discovered in the Yukon is a
unique type of aquamarine.
"It is gemologically distinct from other precious stones," said
consulting gemologist William Rohtert, who is also the company's
"It most resembles an aquamarine, but is more blue in hue, deeper in
tone, and higher in saturation, at times resembling a blue
Rohtert studied the gem with Lee Groat, a professor at the
University of British Columbia's department of earth and ocean
True North CEO Andy Smith says it's too early to put a value on the
stone, which they call "True Blue."
"It is a beautiful and durable stone and, of course, extremely rare,
so its value at the moment can best be described as priceless," said
Smith. Company stocks went up about 10 per cent in value since the
announcement earlier Tuesday.
But others are wondering if the stone's uniqueness is equal to the
hype surrounding it.
Katherine Dunnuel, a gemologist at the Royal Ontario Museum in
Toronto, says she hasn't read any to prove to her why
the gem is so unique.
"They have mentioned a unique colour and hue which actually could be
quite marketable. But from what I have read�it's a very dark blue
aquamarine which can be quite lovely, but it does come from other
parts of the world," said Dunnuel.
A Yukon geologist first found the blue beryl in 1976, but it wasn't
recognized then as a new gem. A team from True North Gems found the
beryl again during an expedition this summer.