This website is home for:
|Vincent Pardieu (B.Sc., GGA, G.G.). Vincent is "Supervisor, Field Gemology" at GIA Laboratory Bangkok. He is a gemologist specialized on "Origin determination of gemstones" and for the past 10 years has focus on visiting gem mining areas in Asia and Africa. His writtings can also be found in www.fieldgemology.org
It is also home of several of VP regular traveling companions. Among them are Jean Baptiste Senoble, Lou Pierre Bryl and Stephane Jacquat who were with VP in the field in Mozambique when the concept behind this website was suddenly making a lot of sense.
It is also home for another friend with a genuine passion for gemstones, conservation and development issues:
|Laurent E. Cartier is a geologist and gemmologist based in Switzerland. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Sciences on the sustainability of marine pearl farming, but also continues to work on gemstones. His current projects on pearl farming can be found at www.sustainablepearls.org
“Conservation Gemology” is very similar in many aspects to its twin-website: www.fieldgemology.org but www.conservatiopngemology.org will not focus on presenting traditional field expedition reports. Instead you will find here blogs and articles with a focus on the conservation aspects related to gem mining in the areas visited by the author.
What is gemology?
Gemology is by definition the knowledge about gems; it is fascinating to the author as it is covering many aspects like science but also history, geography, trade and art. Most websites and publications are dealing with technical and scientific aspects of gemstone identification or trade aspects but other aspects like history, geography and art should not be neglected as they are really interesting and useful to understand gems, their trade and the reasons why they fascinate people.
What about conservation?
Conservation is basically an ethic of resource use. Its focus is upon maintaining the health of our planet in order for the future generations to be able to continue to enjoy it. Conservation does not means keeping away people out from nature, but its goals are to help men to find sustainable ways to use natural resources for future generations to be able to continue benefiting from these natural resources.
Conservation and Gemology?
To associate "Conservation" and "Gemology" might look unusual as gemstone mining is not really sustainable: Indeed a gemstone which was mined will never be mined again. Nevertheless, in a world where conservation issues become day after day more and more serious and where more and more people are getting conserned about issues dealing with the future of our planet, many people inside the gemstone industry but also some people just enjoying gems show an increasing interest in the origin of these beautiful gems and are bring to think about issues regarding the way gems are produced nowadays.
Thanks to the fact that in many cases at least for rubies, sapphires and emeralds, origin determination of gemstones is in most cases possible, then people have some information about the places where gemstones were mined. Recent events like the US and European ban on "Burmese rubies" have shown that the idea about origin and origin determination might, we like it or not, going now beyond the simple idea of romance.
As the author could see during the last 10 years traveling to gem mining areas in Asia and Africa many gem mining area are truly beautiful.
Gemstones can be found sometimes within areas dedicated to conservation. With East Africa, a region famous worldwide for its national parks, beconing more and more a major source of colored gemstones, thus it might be interesting to think about a way for gemstone mining to be an ally of conservation, instead to be one more thread people interesting in the conservation of these beautiful areas will have to face: If the arrival of hundreds of illegal miners can be a disaster for a protected area, on the other hand a well managed ethical gem mining operation concerned about conservation issues could help to finance conservation programs which could benefit to the whole area including its local population.
Visiting such gem mining areas, and in particular a new ruby mining area located inside the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, I was aksed by conservationists working for the reserve if I could help.
Since my childhood in countryside France I'm deeply interested in nature and conserned about conservation. The fact is that during the last 10 years I was given the chance to travel and to visit many gemstone producing areas where i could see some interesting things and many things which could have been avoided. I decided then to build this website as a tool to help people working in conservation and others working in the gemstone industry to understand that they might benefit a lot working with each other.
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Should the Niassa lions be afraid of gemstones?
To illustrate that question the author choosed to place on the top banner of Conservation Gemology a lioness and a blue star sapphire. The first to remember our adventures trying to visit a new ruby mining area located inside the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique and the second as a symbol of luck, faith and hope.
May be the Niassa Lioness should not be afraid about the gem, but it probably could be conserned about the people getting a gem fever and coming to Niassa mining gemstones.
The whole question is about people as this is what the gem trade is all about: People. If the people mining there are conserned about conservation, then the lioness has nothing to be worried about. But if not, then gem mining areas in Niassa might become very hostile areas for Niassa lions and a serious consern for conservationists trying to protect this area for the future generations.
Could gems found in areas dedicated to conservation be a chance for conservationists?"
These are important question at least for people like Dr. Anabela Rodrigues and Vernon Booth from the Niassa National Reserve are asking themselves during that Winter 2009 while the author is working on this website.
It is an interesting question question which can be applied to the whole region where gems are found in areas dedicated to conservation.
Could the gemstone industry become an ally of conservationists to protect the gems of the living world that are truly National Parks and the unique East African Wildlife?
Could gems bring some sustainable job opportunities for the local population to help them to develop and protect Niassa for their own benefit and the benefit of the rest of the planet?
This is what conservation gemology is about.
You will then find here some blogs and article about gem mining and conservation. We hope that you will find them interesting and useful.
All the best,
Vincent Pardieu, December 15th 2009.