Heading To The Zircon Mining Center of Cambodia

One of my most interesting gem hunting trips was to the remote mining area of Ratanakiri, Cambodia. It is in this hilly area that borders Viet Nam and Laos that the worlds finest Blue Zircon are found. Although increasingly rare, we were able to still find some active mining and were able to secure some of the most beautiful pieces of Zircon that we have ever had in our collection. To get there we traveled from our base of operation in Chanthaburi, Thailand, to the border town of Pailin, Cambodia. There we went on a tour of our friends gem cutting and heating facility. After that we traveled on to our destination. It was a 12 hour drive. We crossed all types of landscapes from open rice fields to dense jungles and hilly agricultural areas. Much of the country is still very remote.

Stopping for roast duck along the road.

Stopping for roast duck along the road.

Our friends cutting facility in Pailin Cambodia

Our friends cutting facility in Pailin Cambodia

Heated Blue Zircon in Ratanakiri

Heated Blue Zircon in Ratanakiri

Unheated Rough Zircon

Unheated Rough Zircon

Heated Rough Zircon

Heated Rough Zircon

Artinian Gems
 
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