Gemological study of corundum variety of ruby and sapphie from greece. = Γεμολογική μελέτη ελληνικών κορουνδίων ποικιλίας ρουμπινιών και ζαφειριών.

Vilelmini D. Karantoni


The gem corundum deposits in Greece are spotted in four regions along two tectono-metamorphic units of the Hellenides Orogen: Drama (Paranesti) and Xanthi (Gorgona-Stirigma) along Nestos Suture Zone in the Rhodope Massif and Naxos and Ikaria islands at the Attico-Cycladic Massif. Eight samples were examined in order to discriminate the four deposits and to record their characteristic features: two rubies from Drama hosted in amphibole schist lenses intercalated in places with Ky-bearing Qtz-Plag-amphibolite gneisses, one pink and one blue sapphire from Xanthi hosted in marbles intercalated with eclogitic amphibolites and gneisses, three blue sapphires from Naxos found within plumasites which were formed by the interaction of pegmatites with ultramafic rocks and a blue sapphire from Ikaria found within the meta-bauxitic lenses hosted within calcic marbles, near the contact with the upper gneisses. Under the polarizing microscope all the samples presented parting, polysynthetic twinning, color zoning and strong fragmentation. A large number of fluid inclusions and few mineral inclusions were also identified.  The FTIR analysis showed the presence of boehmite in all samples. Diaspore-related peaks were also observed in Ikaria’s, Xanthi’s and Drama’s specta. The CO2 peaks present in all the samples are attributed to the fluid inclusions. The UV-Vis-NIR analysis showed the presence of Cr3+ in the red to pink samples and the presence of Fe2+-Ti4+ intervalence charge transfer in the blue samples. Apart from one sample from Naxos showing features of metasomatic origin, all the other samples demonstrated characteristics of a metamorphic origin. The EDXRF analysis gave the highest Cr2O3 concentration for Drama’s samples and the lowest for Xanthi’s sample GO5. The highest Fe2O3 and TiO2 content was recorded in the samples from Naxos, though the wide variation of their chemical composition indicates the possibility of different formation environments. The fluid inclusions study verified the presence of water free CO2 dominated fluids with traces of CH4 or N2 and low densities (0.46 and 0.67 g/cm3), which were probably trapped after the metamorphism peak. The strong fragmentation of ruby and sapphire crystals is possibly due to a strong deformational event after the formation of corundum and together with the clear parting and the large number of mineral and fluid inclusions render the Greek samples of a non-gemological value.

Οι πολύτιμες ποικιλίες του κορουνδίου στην Ελλάδα εντοπίζονται σε τέσσερις περιοχές κατά μήκος δύο μεταμορφικών συμπλεγμάτων του ευρύτερου Ελληνικού Ορογενούς: στο Παρανέστι Δράμας και στη Γοργόνα-Στήριγμα Ξάνθης κατά μήκος της Ζώνης Επώθησης του Νέστου (Μάζα Ροδόπης) και στα νησιά Νάξος και Ικαρία (Αττικο-Κυκλαδική Μάζα). Οχτώ δείγματα εξετάστηκαν προκειμένου να μελετηθούν οι ομοιότητες και διαφορές των τεσσάρων εμφανίσεων καθώς και να καταγραφούν τα χαρακτηριστικά της κάθε εμφάνισης: δύο ρουμπίνια από την εμφάνιση της Δράμας που εντοπίζονται μέσα σε φακούς αμφιβολιτικών σχιστολίθων που περιβάλλονται από κυανιτικούς χαλαζιο-αστριούχους αμφιβολιτικούς γνευσίους, ένα ροζ και ένα μπλε ζαφείρι από την Ξάνθη μέσα σε μάρμαρα που εναλάσσονται με εκλογιτικούς αμφιβολίτες και γνευσίους, τρία μπλε ζαφείρια από την Νάξο μέσα σε πλουμασίτες προερχόμενους από την αλληλεπίδραση μεταξύ πηγματιτών και υπερβασικών πετρωμάτων και ένα μπλε ζαφείρι από την Ικαρία μέσα σε μετα-βωξιτικούς φακούς που συναντώνται σε ασβεστιτικά μάρμαρα κοντά στην επαφή με τους υπερκείμενους γνευσίους. Η παρατήρηση στο πολωτικό μικροσκόπιο έδειξε χαρακτηριστικά αποχωρισμού, πολυδυμιών, χρωματικής ζώνωσης και κατακλαστικής υφής για όλα τα δείγματα. Επίσης παρατηρήθηκε μεγάλος αριθμός ρευστών εγκλεισμάτων καθώς και αρκετά ορυκτά εγκλείσματα. Η φασματοσκοπία υπέρυθρου (FTIR) έδειξε την παρουσία μπαιμίτη σε όλα τα δείγματα και την παρουσία διασπόρου στα δείγματα της Ικαρίας, Ξάνθης και Δράμας. Οι κορυφές απορρόφησης CO2 των φασμάτων αποδόθηκαν στο CO2 των ρευστών εγκλεισμάτων. Η φασματοσκοπία υπεριώδους-ορατού-κοντινού υπέρυθρου (UV-Vis-NIR) έδειξε την παρουσία Cr3+ στα φάσματα των κόκκινων έως ροζ δειγμάτων και την παρουσία Fe2+-Ti4+ στα φάσματα των μπλε δειγμάτων. Εκτός από ένα μπλε ζαφείρι της Νάξου που έχει χαρακτηριστικά μετασωματικού χαρακτήρα, όλα τα υπόλοιπα δείγματα σχετίζονται με μεταμορφική προέλευση. Οι υψηλότερες συγκεντρώσεις Cr2O3 εντοπίστηκαν στις χημικές αναλύσεις των ρουμπινιών της Δράμας, ενώ οι χαμηλότερες στο ροζ ζαφείρι της Ξάνθης. Τα μπλε ζαφείρια της Νάξου έχουν τις υψηλότερες συγκεντρώσεις Fe2O3 και TiO2. Γενικά τα δείγματα της Νάξου παρουσίασαν το μεγαλύτερο εύρος τιμών αναφορικά με τη χημική τους σύσταση, γεγονός που υποδεικνύει την πιθανή προέλευσή τους από διαφορετικά περιβάλλοντα. Η μελέτη των ρευστών εγκλεισμάτων επιβεβαίωσε την παρουσία ρευστών πλούσιων σε CO2 με μικρά ποσοστά CH4 ή N2, χωρίς την παρουσία νερού και με μικρές πυκνότητες (0.46 and 0.67 g/cm3), που πιθανόν παγιδεύτηκαν μετά την κορύφωση της μεταμόρφωσης. Τα έντονα φαινόμενα κατακλασικής υφής των ρουμπινιών και ζαφειριών επιβεβαιώνουν την υπόθεση ενός ισχυρού παραμορφωτικού επεισοδίου που έλαβε χώρα μετά το σχηματισμό τους. Η κατακλαστική υφή σε συνδυασμό με τον έντονο αποχωρισμό των δειγμάτων και τον μεγάλο αριθμό ρευστών και ορυκτών εγκλεισμάτων καθιστούν τα ελληνικά κορούνδια μη γεμολογικής αξίας.

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Sapphire, Sapphire gemstone information, 2017. https://www.gemdat.org/gem-3529.html (retrieved June 15, 2017).


An introduction to gem treatments, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/gem-treatment (retrieved June 15, 2017).

Ruby gemstone- Ruby stone- GIA, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/ruby (retrieved June 26, 2017).

Ruby history and lore., 2017. https://www.gia.edu/ruby-history-lore (retrieved June 26, 2017).

Ruby quality factors, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/ruby-quality-factor (retrieved June 21, 2017).

Sapphire gemstone- Sapphire stone- GIA, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/sapphire (retrieved June 26, 2017).

Sapphire history and lore, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/sapphire-history-lore (retrieved June 26, 2017).

Sapphire quality factors, 2017. https://www.gia.edu/sapphire-quality-factor (retrieved June 21, 2017).

Microscopy News

Operating Manual Axioskop 40 / Axioskop 40 FL Routine microscope, 2001. https://microscopy-news.com/download-center2/Axioskop_40_Axioskop_40_FL_Routine_Microscope_e.pdf (retrieved November 4, 2017).


The precious gemstone ruby, Ruby: The gemstone ruby information and pictures, 2017. http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/ruby_gemstone.aspx (retrieved June 26, 2017).

The precious gemstone sapphire, Sapphire: The gemstone sapphire information and pictures, 2017. http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/sapphire_gemstone.aspx (retrieved June 26, 2017).

The mineral corundum, 2017. http://www.minerals.net/mineral/corundum.aspx?img=/Image/16/51/Corundum.aspx (retrieved November 4, 2017).


Ruby, 2017. https://www.mindat.org/min-3473.html (retrieved November 4, 2017).

MSU Chemistry

Visible and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy. Reusch, 2013. https://www2.chemistry.msu.edu/faculty/reusch/virttxtjml/Spectrpy/UV-Vis/spectrum.htm

(retrieved November 4, 2017).

FMF- Minerals Forum

FMF - Friends of Minerals Forum, discussion and message board, 2017. http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=32483

(retrieved November 4, 2017).

University of Bristol

Synthetic sapphires, Sapphire.com, 2017. http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2004/hall/synthetic.htm (retrieved June 16, 2017).

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