The stunningly beautiful Chase Sapphire Reserve, located in the south western corner of Ireland, is a world heritage site. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In 2021 this reserve was listed on the list of the Ten Natural Heritage List. This beautiful reserve is a World Heritage Site because of its exceptional geological features, extremely unique geology and colourful flora and fauna.
The sapphire is said to have originated from Ireland. There are approximately five thousand specimens of it in existence today. The largest deposits are located around Paddington, which is where the name of the reserve is based. The beauty of the sapphire started to attract visitors towards it as early as the eighteenth century. At that time the stone formed into tiny needlelike shapes.
Over the centuries, the stone gradually took on its yellowish color. The modern geology of the area indicates that the sapphires formed in a humid climate. This is evident from the fine rock powdery soils and the presence of fine clayey clay fossils dating back to the Eocene or Paleocene era. A geologist named Richard C. Laramy discovered the reserve in 1873. At that time, he was searching for a mineral called calcite.
It took him fifty years to find two specimens. It was not until the next year that John S. Slaupinger found a single sapphire. Since then, there have been many finds. Saphraxos has also yielded a few sapphires over the past several decades.
Although all of these sapphires occur naturally in Ireland, they have yet to be documented in the traditional manner. All documentation must be in written form and most often photos are not permitted. As a result, the traditional scientific method of recording the geology, coloration, texture and appearance of the sapphires takes place. The result is a detailed description of each individual Sapphire and a short description of the geology of the location in which they were found. The local studies describe the formation and the physical and chemical environment of the deposits.
The primary focus of the scientists is on determining whether a mineral is truly a sapphire. If two minerals are chemically similar, then they can be considered one. It takes a long period of research to determine this. Sapphire is considered by some to be a variety of sapphire although it is really nothing more than a form of emerald. Many believe the true classification to be something like a beryl, a transparent silvery brown to green colored stone. In order to be categorized as a sapphire it must meet three criteria.
First, the sapphire must contain a good deal of chromium. Some sapphires do not contain enough chromium to be classified as a sapphire. The second requirement is that the concentration of chromium should be high. The concentration is actually one part chromium to five parts of the sapphire. These requirements, although they seem complicated, are essential for proper diagnosis.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has been open to the public for over twenty years. Scientists continually visit the reserve to study the formations. It is a wonderful site for anyone interested in the history of gemstones. No matter where you are located in the world, you can visit the Chase Sapphire Reserve and have a look at these remarkable gems.
The area of the sapphire includes the central zone, which is the area around the Equator. The western region of the sapphire includes the southern most area of the earth. This means the south is where the sapphire is mined the least. The north contains the deposits that are most sought after because they contain rare and exotic stones. They are much harder to find and are therefore more expensive than other stones.
All of the minerals within the reserve are 100% pure. The rocks are also completely unspoiled. They are closely inspected by scientists and only the best stones are chosen to go on display. This ensures you will only ever see top quality sapphires. Because these stones are so rare there is an extensive conservation program in place.
In addition to the sapphires you will see there are also other mineral specimens. You can search through a variety of gem and salt samples as well. Many of the items displayed will have been sourced from the site as well. You can also look at various rocks and fissures. These help show the progression of the mine from start to finish and how it has evolved over time.
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