One of the world’s renowned mining areas is the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The location produces some of the finest tourmalines, aquamarine, morganite, chrysoberyl, and emerald, just to name a few. Mining is a very risky and difficult task as it is always a gamble as to whether or not exceptional gem deposits will be found. One amazing story involves the Jonas mine located in Minas Gerais. In 1978, the mine was thought to contain large deposits of rubellite tourmaline, but after 6 months of digging with absolutely no good results, the miners only had financing for one final week of digging. One of the miners had a premonition of a huge gem pocket which encouraged the miners not to give up and to keep digging. As luck would have it, they found a truly magnificent pocket that once excavated was 8 by 10 feet in size. It had almost 450 pounds of spectacular rubellite tourmaline crystals. One crystal was large enough to yield a million dollars worth of cut gems. A smaller second pocket was also found but it was not as spectacular as the first. Although mining at this location was essentially exhausted after a couple weeks of excavating, the miners hard work sure proved to be worth it.
It is interesting to think about all the things what could have happened to cause the difference between a 100% loss of their investment and their big payoff. The pocket containing the crystals was on 8 by 10 feet. Imagine how easy that would have been to miss. Imagine how many gem containing pockets have been missed by other miners in the past and how many must be out there.