Gemstone Safari
to the Umba River sapphire mines in september 2007

The whole team.

Mr. Nakara S. Matemu with Hubert Heldner

Having a drink halve way to the mine in Tanga.

At the mine, first thing we did is, sink a shaft. Here we are done for the day.

This is how it is done. Dig a hole to reach

the sapphire gravel and pass it trough a sieve.

Then shift troug the pile. Janusz is having all the fun.

The clay does not stick to the sapphire. this makes it easy.

An excited look at a small stone.

We are working in teams of four.

At the end of the day look

at the happy faces.

The camp at high noon.

The last evening a goat has been offered by the mine owner

and we shared it with all the miners, during a grill party.

Back in Dar-es-Salaam, Rocco at the faceting machine, cutting his first saphire.

Mme Noreen one of the lapidary instructors is preparing the ceramic lap with diamond compound.

The beach late at night after a traditional dinner with fisch from the days catch.
Sapphires found by Rocco. This is about the quantity each member of the groupe found.

These are the stones I found digging.
Sapphires T076 found by Hubert
smallest 0.59 gr
biggest 4.77 gr
Total weight of parcel 32.51 gr
Garnet T084
smallest 0.19 gr
biggest 2.3 gr
Total weight of parcel 18.55 gr
Spinel T077
1.81 gr
Zirkon T085
2.03 gr
Tourmaline T081a
3.94 gr
Tourmaline T081b
black 3.54 gr
blue-green 0.80 gr
yellow 0.66 gr
pink 0.72 gr

These are the stones I bought at the mine.
Sapphire T074
red 0.59 gr
green 1.65 gr
violet 2.65 gr
Sapphire T075a
3.68 gr
Sapphire T075b
2.08 gr
Garnet T073
small 1.20 gr
big 9.38 gr
Garnet T082
smallest 2.00 gr
biggest 8.97 gr
Total weight of parcel 71.71 gr
Garnet T083
smallest 0.45 gr
biggest 1.89 gr
Total weight of parcel 174.78 gr
Garnet T083
Garnet T083
Sunstone T078
smallest 1.9 gr
biggest 9.77 gr
Total weight of parcel 36.87 gr
Moonstone T079
smallest 5.49 gr
biggest 9.01 gr
Total weight of parcel 20.24 gr

Gemstone Safari
Minerals & Gems
Lapidary Training Centre
Giving Back

Copyright on all photos by Hubert Heldner