Edward Boehm is a colored stone dealer and consultant from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He discovered his passion for geology and minerals during summers spent in Switzerland with his grandfather, renowned gemologist, Dr. Edward Gübelin. Over his 30-year career Edward has traveled extensively to gemstone mining localities in Southeast Asia, East Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and South America. He worked for the Gübelin Gem Lab, Pala International, and as a consultant for GIA and USAID before venturing out on his own in 1996. Edward has authored and co-authored numerous articles on gems and gemstone localities and serves on the editorial review boards for Gems & Gemology, The Journal of Gemmology, and The Australian Gemmologist. His company, RareSource, specializes in fine & collectable gemstones, collection sales & acquisitions, and museum & laboratory consulting.
Gem producing pegmatites exist in numerous countries around the globe but Brazil has been blessed with many of the largest and most important. Tourmaline, aquamarine, and morganite are the primary commercial gems being produced but others like apatite and kunzite are also important. Brazil is also known for its imperial topaz from Ouro Preto, emeralds from Itabira, and alexandrite from Hematita. This presentation will cover basic aspects of the geology of the Minas Gerais gem bearing pegmatites, topaz bearing granitic gneiss deposits and emerald forming metamorphosed schists. However, the primary focus will be on gemstone mining and production, environmental reclamation efforts, gemological properties, pricing, and global comparisons to similar gem deposits in Mozambique, Nigeria, and Namibia.