Rumors of a possible civil war in Bolivia—the source of the world’s supply of natural-color ametrine—have been blamed for the shortage of that gemstone. But news organizations have been speculating about a Bolivian civil war for several years, yet, so far, no war.
“Our country, once again, is going through an apparent major change,” says Ramiro Rivero, owner of Minerales y Metales del Oriente, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Rivero controls the Anahi Mine, the only known commercial source for natural-color ametrine. According to Rivero, the government is moving to the far left and assuming control of natural resources formerly managed by private companies.
But Rivero doesn’t believe the government is interested in amethyst, citrine, and ametrine. “It is believed that they are referring to large-scale foreign mining companies,” Rivero says. “There is no reason why Minerales y Metales del Oriente and/or the Anahi Mine would be part of this reversion plan. We are not large, and we are 100 percent Bolivian.”
Rivero cites a more credible reason for shortages of ametrine. “Our added-value policies have driven us into the jewelry market, so our interests are mainly aimed to supply gemstones to our jewelry works,” he says. “We are still supplying the market with rough amethyst and citrine, but ametrine is only being supplied to AJM, our jewelry manufacturing unit.”
To remain privately owned and 100 percent Bolivian, Rivero also has made the jump to the retail end. “We have three shops in Bolivia, which were established as the means to train ourselves in this new trade,” he says.
Rivero is opening his first international store next month in the Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg, Ill.
For more information about Anahi and the ametrine business, visit www.anahi.com.