MAHENGE SPINEL THAT SHOOK THE WORLD

    When you talk about spinel sources in the world, there is no way you can skip to mention mahenge deposits in Tanzania. If you don’t mention it then you intend to hide the whole truth about spinel sources in the world. Always give somebody what he deserves’.

    Mahenge Spinel is one among gemstone that was popular from the year of 2000s due to its quality and color. One may ask this spinel comes from Mahenge only in this world? the answer is no. There are countries like Mozambique, Burma and many of them that provide Spinel, but the Mahenge spinel has been the best due to its color and clarity especially red and pink spinel.

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    Even Tanzania there are different areas that produce spinel like Winza, Tunduru but the Mahenge spinel has got more attraction.

    Which Color is Marketable?

    Red vivid or pink vivid color is the color that makes spinel to be sold in high prices than other colors. Spinel has almost all the colors. Recently red or pink spinel from 5 to 15 carats can be sold from US$ 5,000 to US$100,000 USD

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    Gem Identities and Geometry of Rough

    Mineral: spinel

    Chemistry: MgAl2O4

    Color: Various color like red, blue, green, brown, black, gray, lilac, purple, orange, rose, nearly colorless.

    Inclusions: minute octahedral or negative crystals, alone or in fingerprint pattern; included crystals, iron oxide staining.

    Refractive index: 1.718

    Birefringence: none

    Specific gravity: 3.60

    Mohs Hardness: 8

    Phenomena: Asterism, color change

    Birthstone: August

    Care and Cleaning

    Spinel gem is a tough gem due to its “Hardness”. Hence making spinel jewelry to be used all the time in the jewelry industry. Spinel can be used in any kind of jewelry be it neckless, pendant, earrings or rings.

    When it comes to care and cleaning of spinel, device like ‘Ultrasonic or Steam cleaner can be used without any doubt at any time.

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    Types of Spinel colors found in Mahenge

    Pink – is found at Epanko

    Red – is found at Epanko

    Purple – is found at Kituti

    Rhodolite color – is found different places.

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    Approximate Road Distance

    Dar es salaam to Mahenge via Morogoro road

    Morogoro town -197km

    Mikumi Junction - 319km

    River Ruaha – 355km

    Ifakara – 430km

    Mahenge – 500km

    Mahenge to Dar es salaam via Msata Bagamoyo Road

    Mlimani – 10km

    Lupiro – 41km

    Kilombero Bridge – 64km

    Ifakara – 70km

    Kiberege – 106km

    Mang’ula – 120km

    Msolwa – 133km

    Kidatu – 140km

    River Ruaha – 145km

    Mikumi Junction – 180km

    Morogoro Town – 300km

    Msata Junction – 422km

    Bagamoyo – 185km

    Dar City Centre – 550km

    Deposits

    The Spinel that mine in Mahenge is found in two different types, Primary Deposits and Alluvial Deposits

    Primary Deposits

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    What do we mean by saying primary deposits, it means is the gemstone from the rocks or from primary source. For example at Epanko area where big amount of spinals are produced from there spinel are being mined from the rocks. For you to mine spinel you need to use gun powder and other tools or mining equipment due to the spinel rocks are very tough. 

    Alluvial Deposit

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    There are some gemstones which are found in the rivers and they are brought up by waters for many years ago from the rocks of primary sources. There are other areas which produce it from beside water of rivers and streams, example of Epanko area it has both the primary deposits and alluvial deposits.

    Most of Spinels that is found in this area of alluvial deposit are good with no crack and sometimes might be big size from 4 to 12 grams per piece.  

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