Diamonds, pearls, rubies and silver – The Luxury Channel explores the world’s most sparkling exports….
Marilyn Monroe cooed and swayed to the words, ‘‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,’’ and men and women buy them to mark their engagement or to decorate a décolletage. However, most think that if it’s diamonds you want, South Africa is the place to source them – and Graff, Tiffany and De Beers seem to agree.
Vietnam is one of the world’s hottest new travel destinations, as well as a source of incredible pearls. A trip around the breathtaking limestone isles of Ha Long Bay is a wonderful way to scout for local pearl sellers on one of the many tiny islands. You can find a range of pearls in Vietnam, from tiny Akoya pearls to flame-coloured Melo pearls.
Ruby hunters used to go to Burma for their gems. However, now those in desire of rubies fly to Thailand, Tanzania and Cambodia for these wonderful jewels. Those who like a bit of adrenaline in their quest for the best should head to Greenland. Now you can go heli-skiing where large ruby deposits were recently discovered under a receding ice shelf.
The simplicity and beauty of silver has an eternal appeal. The silver-filled mountains of Bolivia were mined by pre-Inca civilizations and later provided much of the Spanish Empire’s wealth. Mexico’s many mines, established by the Spanish conquistadors, produce silver in quantities only rivaled by Peru. You can comb through silver markets in the morning, hike trails in the afternoon and cool off in sparkling blue lagoons.