First to the area of Rio Grande do Sol and then a further drive to a small town, another two hours away. The province of Rio Grande do Sol is near Uruguay so we see both Brazilian and Uruguayan Amethyst there.
We had been warned that Chinese buyers were buying every amethyst geode they see, so we were lucky that there was a collection of geodes still being prepared, not out on show yet, that we could buy. Amethyst production is really strong because of the Chinese demand, and prices have been pushed up, especially for anything of the high quality Crystals wants.
Agates are the other main product we get from this part of Brazil, and again the Chinese are busy buying as much as they can for jewellery and carvings back in China. We have been dealing with a small family agate business for some time and he was his usual friendly self and had good stocks. We ended up buying a lot of agate bookends and geoded ends here as they were being unpacked from the drums in the back workshop. In a giant warehouse the size of Tescos we went through about ten thousand agate slices picking out the really nice ones while a huge thunderstorm hammered away outside. All agate has now been priced and is in our shops.
We managed to top up all our regular popular items like Rose Quartz t – lights , Amethyst tealights t – lights, and druzy Uruguayan Amethyst hearts. Ferreting in the back back rooms of one supplier we found some more great bookends, and some Amethyst “rings” as well as Amethyst cones. Lets say we have A LOT OF AMETHYST now in our warehouse and shops! Big bolivian amethyst points are back too.
Cut-base minerals were not so evident this time as most dealers were concentrating on the Amethyst boom. We got some Fucshite and Amazonite, Black Tourmaline with mica, and only one or two Emerald. Elsewhere we got a welcome lot of Citrine beds, Rose Quartz boulders, Sodalite rough, chevron amethyst pendulums as well as a good variety of Egyptian style pendulums. After four days of buying in the south we headed north to Minas Gerais on Sunday so we didn’t miss any buying time.
First port of call on this leg was one of the famous “stones” town in Mina Gerais. We had been given a contact stone broker and we were in his office at 8.30 am with a queue of stone dealers waiting for us. After 5 hrs of going through hundreds of packets of cut stones we had accumulated an amazing selection of Aquamarines, Morganites, Kunzites ( some with rutile), Emeralds and Fire Opals. Some beautiful Tourmalines , bicolors, greens and reds. Watermelon was all sold as once again the Chinese are really piling into high quality Tourmalines, we did get a very few slices at very high prices just because of demand from our customers. Later we heard that high grade blue/green tormalines have been being sold for $10,000 a gram as investments by Chinese people who are not allowed by law to have cash savings in their houses and who don’t trust the banks with their money!
These stones have now been set and are in our shops.
Next day we were outside in the heat (35oC) in various yards searching through piles of black tourmalinted Rose Quartz, Elestials, Quartz clusters and Smokeys while lizards and butterflies zipped around. amazing clear Q cluster collection, and some BIG elestials and cathedral quatrtzes.
We tracked down Blue Topaz, Aquamarine rough, and more wonderful tourmalines in different colours, alligator Quartz, Kyanite, natural Smokey ……lots of amazing crystals in very unlikely looking sheds, garages and even the back of a supermarket! We were often looking through collections in houses with chickens, cats and puppies running around, even the odd parrot.
The final leg was another days car drive away, here we got Lazers and Lemurians and we were offered huge quantities of Quartz in every shape and form. Like the Amethyst in the south, Quartz in the north was booming too. The only thing we missed out on were Quartz spheres………….we had been pipped to the post by an Austrian buyer who had done the rounds a couple of days before us and cleaned out anything worth having. Eventually we did track down one small collection, but we would have liked more.
Another good find was two collections of natural Citrine C&P. Our best buy however must be the most amazing huge clear quartz C&P we have ever had…………….12kgs and absolutely stunning!!!
A first for us here was an unexpected collection of C&P Key crystals and Manifestation crystals!!! Going from shed to shed and person to person we got to the village where the actual stone cutters and polishers are working away on the rough boulders and giant crystals brought in by the dealers. Here we bought C&P chevron amethyst points straight off the polishing machine……….another first.
So loads to look forward to throughout 2013!