Journal of International Geoscience

Regular Issue Vol 40 No 3 (Sep, 2017)

Preserving the heritage of gemstone regions and resources worldwide: Future directions

DOI: 10.18814/epiiugs/2017/v40i3/017026


  • Laurent E. Cartier (Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland)


Gemstones – including emeralds, rubies and sapphires and many other mineral varieties – have fascinated humans for millennia. Many of the regions producing gemstones are experiencing unsustainable social, economic and environmental pressures at present. In regions such as the Mogok Stone Tract in Burma (Myanmar), strong traditions have evolved around the mining and processing of the different gemstones. It is proposed that specific criteria and a heritage designation scheme be developed for such regions that have been outstanding producers of gemstones, in some cases for many centuries. Ultimately, the aim would be to preserve the traditions of these provinces and increase cultural, scientific and touristic interest in their gemstone resources as a way of contributing to sustainable development in these regions.

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