Gem expert Professor Karfunkel visits a morganite mine


Mozambique morganite ring If you've not already seen it, then be sure to check out Today's Special Value – a dazzling cushion-cut morganite ring.

The gemstone has come all the way from the Marropino mine in Mozambique, which is famed for producing stones with a warm, delicate peachy-pink colouring. And our gem expert, Professor Karfunkel, will be on hand to tell more about these incredible stones.

Since February 1976, Joachim Karfunkel has been the Professor of Geology and Gemology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Having spent years carrying out research into gemstone identification and origins, the Professor has also held the role of Senior Researcher at the Brazilian Research Society in Brazil.

This distinguished and much published gemologist is an absolute expert in his field and QVC are delighted to have him as a guest presenter to share his knowledge and passion for gemstones with us and you.

We caught up with him before his shows to find out a little more about his latest quest for this desirable gem…

Outside the morganite mine May 13th 2010 – my latest field research trip to a morganite mine was very exciting. Together with Professor Quemeneur from Paris and six geology students, we reached the huge entrance leading to narrow tunnels that are only as high as a person.

'Look at your feet and at the top of the tunnel at the same time, so you don't hit your head', warned the miner who guided us.

Although very dim in the weak light of the oil lamps, we were looking at the most colourful walls – white feldspar and quartz, black tourmaline and, in small pockets, all the rainbow colours of kunzite, aquamarine… and morganite.

Professor Karfunkel with a piece of raw morganite The largest crystals were about 20cm in size and were collector specimens, although the miners were hoping to find more gem quality specimens further into the mine.

The fascinated students took photographs and we collected specimens for analysing at the university to find out more about the conditions the gems formed under.

The three days of adventure in the mine had been extremely fruitful and enchanting, particularly the exchange of our scientific knowledge with the practical experience of the miners.

A raw morganite crystal Let's hope that soon good quality morganite will be mined there again so that the stone cutters, jewellers and ladies around the world can join our big family of the gemstone lovers.

Professor J. Karfunkel.

See our full range of morganite jewellery

1 Comment

  1. Margaret June 14, 2010 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Wish I was there with you , so facinating just love gems the earth gives such treasures up to us and thanks to the brave miners and experts we can enjoy wonderful jewellery, thank you for the way you tell us the stories.

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