Extra nice Beluga sapphire
True North Gems Inc. of Vancouver has made significant progress in its search for gemstones in Canada’s north. A 4.28-tonne mini-bulk sample taken in 2004 from the company’s Beluga deposit on Baffin Island, Nunavut, yielded 141.9 grams of gem quality sapphires including the rough crystal shown in this photograph. As part of a recent preliminary cutting experiment with all-natural, untreated sapphires, this crystal was cut and polished by Brad Wilson of Alpine Gems in Kingston, Ont. The result was an impressive 1.17-carat, cushion cut stone (pictured), which the company believes is the first extra-fine quality sapphire weighing more than a carat ever produced from a deposit in Canada.