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Sapphire Situation: Expedition to Ethiopia's sapphire fields

Image Gallery (9 Images)   



Many of the miners were families working in small groups with women doing much of the heavy labour

Picks, shovels, buckets and human muscle were the only mining techniques used in the sapphire fields

Rough Ethiopian sapphires. Image courtesy Wim Vertriest/GIA

Rough Ethiopian sapphires. Image courtesy Wim Vertriest/GIA

Most of the sapphires were recovered from gravels by dry hand picking. Image courtesy Andrew Lucas/ GIA

There were many brokers in the mining areas buying stones. Image courtesy Andrew Lucas/ GIA

Ethiopia's sapphire fields

Taken from drone footage this shot clearly shows the numerous pits seen in the mining areas. Image courtesy Wim Vertriest/GIA



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