The speaker identified the main gemstones recorded in Scotland including cairngorm, garnet, sapphire and diamond. However, planning would be an issue for extracting gemstones, e.g. in Cairngorm National Park. Nevertheless, Scotland has the capacity to produce gem quality stones (i.e. sapphire and diamond).
Gemstones need gold and silver to set them off. Scotland has these metals. Early production was from alluvial sources but bedrock gold is found at 20 locations in Scotland. Free gold is found in quartz vein at Cononish but is also present in auriferous pyrite (albeit leaching would be required). Cononish was developed by Ennex International plc and Caledonia Mining Corporation but is now owned by Scotgold Resources Ltd. The Coronish adit goes in 1 kilometre. Calliacher (SW of Aberfeldy) has been investigated by Colby Gold plc.
The speaker concluded that Scotland has the reserves and technical ability to produce quality jewellery, which could command premium prices.
(Dr Graham Smith, Border GeoScience - 12 March 2008)
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