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A dataset on gemstone deposits throughout the world



All documents:       GEMDATA (zip)

Documentation:     Codebook (pdf)


The gemstone site dataset contains information on gemstone deposits and mining throughout the world. It includes following gemstones: ruby, sapphire, emerald, aquamarine, heliodor, moganite, goshenite, nephrite, jadeite, lapis lazuli, opal, tourmaline, periodit, topaz, pearl, garnet, zircon, spinel, amber, and quartz. It excludes diamonds, which are included in the diamond deposit dataset, DIADATA.

The GEMDATA dataset consists of 1022 gemstone sites in 61 countries. The individual gemstone sites are represented as points in the dataset (and on a map). Each site is accompanied by latitude and longitude coordinates and information on the type of gemstone found on the site, discovery date, and when relevant, information on the first production date.

The point features are stored as ArcGIS shapefiles and the attribute table in dBase file format. ESRI software – or other GIS software that can read the shapefile format – is required to assess the point features on a map, but the attribute table can easily be imported to other software such as Excel or SPSS.

248 sites were assigned to an ERRATA dataset that comes as an Excel file. These sites have missing or insufficiently precise/accurate coordinates to be included in the main dataset.

The codebook describes the data collection method and dataset structure, defines the variables used in the dataset, and shortly presents the known shortcomings of the dataset. It also includes a short note for each country in the dataset. This note contains information for the first discovery and production year for the country as whole and, if relevant, other information that could not be assigned to a specific gemstone site.


Please site following article when using the data:

Lujala, Päivi 2009. Deadly Combat over Natural Resources: Gems, Petroleum, Drugs, and the Severity of Armed Civil Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution 53(1): 50-71.


Other article that uses the data:

Lujala, Päivi 2010. The Spoils of Nature: Armed Civil Conflict and Rebel Access to Natural Resources. Journal of Peace Research 47(1): 15-28.

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Contact address:, Updated: 24.10.2010