Insights – Greenland Ruby

News and Events

News and Events

In Awe of the Aurora!

The Northern Lights and Greenland’s Natural Beauty

With the changing of the seasons, our friends and colleagues in Greenland start preparing themselves for the long winter months ahead. Temperatures plummet, days shorten, and the starry night sky becomes a stage for the most spectacular light show on earth – the Aurora Borealis! Envision yourself surrounded by newly fallen fresh snow covering the majestic mountains on the biggest island in the world. As your eyes adjust and scan the landscape, the horizon entices you to glance up into the sparkly sky as the quiet wraps its arms around you in a comfortable embrace.

And then it starts, nature’s very own light spectacle! Welcome to the Northern Lights! Here goes! Flickering green, purple, reddish-pink, and white, against black! You can hardly believe your eyes!

Photo Credit: Alexander Kuhn, Greenland Ruby Geologist at Ruby Camp, the Greenland Ruby processing plant in Aappalutoq. (Ah-puh-lu-toq – Greenlandic word for RED)

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, as it’s been called by Galileo, have bewitched us for millennia, and occurs throughout the lengths of the Arctic Circle. As is the case with most ‘unexplained’ natural phenomena, human beings have marveled and created myths and legends around this spell-bounding occurrence.

The ‘Lights’ have played a role in the traditional beliefs of the Greenlandic Inuit for generations. The Greenlandic word for the Northern Lights is “Arsarnerit” which means “those who play ball”. According to ancient folklore, the mythical and almost magical lights appear in the sky when souls of the deceased play ball with walrus skulls! On an even more macabre note, another legend links the shimmering lights with souls of still-born babies.

In Reverence of the Northern Lights

From September to the beginning of April, minimal light pollution in Greenland allows eager spectators the most incredible opportunity to experience the Northern Lights as they unfold, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours-on-end, changing in intensity and color. Actually, the ‘Lights’ occur all year-round, but due to the endless daylight during the Summer months, they can only be seen on dark winter nights. Travelers from all over the world explore some of the most isolated of Northern territories to witness this eluding light extravaganza.

Photo Credit: Vincent Pardieu photographing Aricie de Sainte Preuve, Greenland Ruby Sales Director last November.

Behind the Scenes: History and Science

When electrically charged particles from the sun collide with molecules and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere, fluttering curtains of light skim across the auroral zone causing a mesmerizing experience of color. This marvelous celestial occurrence happens about 100km from the Earth and is seen in both the North and South Pole – in the South it is called the Aurora Australis. Interestingly enough, both Jupiter and Saturn experience auroras too.

Inspired by this extra-terrestrial phenomenon, Greenland Ruby has named our grey, purple, and black opaque sapphires, the ‘Northern Lights’ Color Spectrum.

To find out more about our Greenlandic rubies and sapphires, click here and scroll down to subscribe to our newsletter.




Pink is Powerful!

The months of the year have been assigned a special gemstone since the early 1900s and sapphire, known also as the Wisdom Stone, is the birthstone for September representing intelligence, education, and the ability to make wise and good choices. Sapphires are also the 45th-anniversary gemstone and although confusing, a Sapphire Jubilee occurs after 65 years.

Credit: Lotus Gemology

Did you know that sapphires come in a rainbow of colors? The most commonly known are the blue sapphires but it’s a surprise to most people to hear these gems can also be found in a variety of shades from violet, green to yellow, orange, purple, pinkish-orange (called Padparadscha), and PINK. Actually, rubies and sapphires are chemically almost exactly the same, both being a variety of the mineral corundum. The color diversity of rubies and pink sapphires is determined by the presence of Chromium; as it decreases so does the intensity, and the red becomes pink. These beauties are called Pink Sapphires.

The most famous lovers of pink sapphires are Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II, who has often been seen in a pink sapphire floral design brooch, as well as Princess Grace Kelly, who loved her delicate and very feminine pink jewels.

We can see why sapphires have been cherished for thousands of years!


Deposits of various colors of sapphire can be found on almost all continents in the world, including the United States (Montana) and most recently in Greenland, where it is the pink gems that we are so lucky to have. Pink sapphires are also known to be found in India, Sri Lanka, various parts of East Africa and Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

The Greenland Ruby pink sapphire assortment ranges in color from fuchsia and hot pink to flattering shades of light and icy pink. Regardless of the saturation, each gem has unique microscopic inclusions that tell of it’s 3 billion-year-old journey through time and temperature.

Why we love Pink!

Pink is the color of universal love of oneself and of others, thought to bring harmony and inner peace. Though not one of the primary colors, pink is a less saturated and sweet side of the red and is the official color for girls.

Over the years, pink has become synonymous with many causes and emotions, taking on different identities depending on culture and time. Its symbolism is complex and its popularity is subject to so many influences.

Given the close connection with femininity, pink has been used as a symbolic color by groups supporting women; from the vast sea of pink “pussyhats” that swarmed the Women’s March in Washington DC in 2018 to the massive Breast Cancer Awareness organizations that have touched millions of lives all over the world, pink is powerful, and we love it!




The livin’ is easy and the light is extraordinary

What’s it like to be in Greenland in the summer? Most of us imagine the largest island in the world as ice-covered year-round. And for much of Greenland’s central ice cap, that’s still true!

Credit: Christian Andersen

But along the warmer coastline, and even inland somewhat, Greenland enjoys an exceptional summer, with the skies staying light for endless hours. In this year of limited travel for all, come with us on a vicarious trip to the location of Greenland Ruby’s ruby and sapphire mine – the beautiful island of Greenland!

Land of the Midnight Sun

What would life be like if the skies never really got dark? In Greenland, you get to find out. Staying out late takes on a delightful twist when the sky is light, turning a mellow dim late into the night. It’s like being in a land of endless day for months on end. Energy levels pick up, and nighttime activities are bathed in a special glow.

Credit: Christian Andersen

At our Aappaluttoq mine, located near the coastline in southwestern Greenland, our work continues in shifts around the clock, and our workforce gets to enjoy many of the glories of being outside, too.

Greenlandic summer weather is what non-Arctic people would call “spring-like” most of the season, hovering around 50 degrees fahrenheit/10 degrees centigrade – only occasionally dipping below or rising above. The crisp air is immaculately clean.

Nature Abounds

Masses of orange, yellow, purple, and green wildflowers and herbs dot the land, and people gather berries and mushrooms. Because ice is still everywhere, there is a special sweet and brisk scent that can only be found in the Arctic in summer.

Credit: Christian Andersen

Fishing is exceptional this time of year. Rivers are teeming with Arctic char, and at times, you can catch trout swimming upstream. Greenland’s traditional pastime of hunting blossoms in summer, with musk ox and reindeer plentiful – herds have grown to a safe size that permits the sport. Other Greenlanders enjoy grouse hunting.

Sailing is magnificent and many people use the summer to explore the beautiful fjords that line the coast, where you might see seals or pass the eerily beautiful blue icebergs that occur when light hits compacted ice.

Credit: Christian Andersen

The island is a hiker’s dream in summer, with cool temperatures, bold rock formations, and extraordinary scenery. You can even take in the brilliant vistas of the ice cap when you hike inland. As you climb high up the mountainsides, it almost feels as though you could touch the sky.

Greenland is one of the few places on earth that remains mostly untouched and unaltered by humans. The grand silences of nature there bring a sense of inner peace like no other place.

Greenland Ruby’s Pledge to the Land

At the mine in Aappaluttoq, we take seriously our commitment to preserving this pristine location. Our mine site is located in an icy mountainous landscape surrounded by majestic fjords, at the bottom of a drained waterway. When we finish our work here, the waterway will be refilled, all equipment and buildings will be removed, and the site will be fully restored to its natural wilderness. It is our promise to the people of Greenland.

Credit: Vincent Pardieu

To learn more about Greenland Ruby or to purchase a ruby or pink sapphire from this unique setting, go to our Ruby Cloud for a stunning array of gems!




July Birthstone

Happy Birthday, July babies!

Since the early 1900’s the signs of the zodiac, and more specifically months of birth, have been linked to gemstones.  July is the month allocated to Rubies, so thought this would be a good time to tell you more about our favorite gem.

Red is the color most associated with courage and sacrifice, seduction, and sexuality, as well as some of our most intense emotions such as love and passion.  No wonder Ruby is considered the most powerful gemstone in the world!

Ruby’s brilliant radiance has captured the imagination of human beings throughout time. Early cultures treasured these marvelous gemstones for their similarity to the redness of blood that flows through our veins, believing rubies held the power of life. This fascination has created a host of legends and lore over the centuries, from Hindus and Chinese ornamenting their armor to bestow protection, Greeks who considered that rubies are the zest of life, Burmese who adorned their bodies with bright rubies to grant invulnerability, up to the present day’s interconnectivity between these gems and the power of love.

These myths and legends have even found their way into performances and films, like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz, which were meant to protect her from evil, or in books, like George R. R. Martin’s more recent Game of Thrones, in which one of the character’s lives is taken when his rubies fall from his armor.

Although Greenland Ruby’s ruby deposit was recorded and documented only in the 1960s by Dr. Martin Ghisler, with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, the dazzling gems sit on the shoulders of an extensive and entrancing history!

Location and Deposit

Credit: Vincent Pardieu

When it comes to the question – where do rubies come from? – these beautiful gems are mined in a few locations around the world, now primarily in Burma (Myanmar), Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, U.S.A, and Greenland, the most recent discovery.  The Greenlandic gems differ from those of other origins by their unique inclusions, as well as the fact that they are believed to be the oldest gem on earth, at nearly 3 billion years old.  Despite this, Greenland Ruby is one of the most modern and sophisticated colored gemstone mining operations in the world.

The Greenland Ruby gems are found in Aappaluttoq, {Ah-puh-lu-tok} meaning ‘Red’ in Greenlandic, named after the rock formations in this Arctic landscape.  Locals in the south west of Greenland have known about these rubies for centuries and appropriately named the ruby-bearing rock “RED”.


Like most rubies and sapphires, Greenland Ruby gems undergo treatment to bring out their best attributes and create a stable environment making it safe and responsible to cut, polish and set gemstones into jewelry. Heat treatment with borax is done in Thailand, the world’s capital of ruby trade and expertise, where gemstone treatments have been practiced and perfected over generations.

Given the nature of the hard-rock deposit, as well as the primordial age of the rubies and pink sapphires from Greenland, the tiny fractures commonly found within these ancient gems are the consequences of that incredible journey through time, heat, and pressure.

Gems for a New Generation

While rubies have been around for as long as we can remember, the introduction of a new and responsible source of the rarest and more precious of all the gems will bring a fresh approach to the market!

As a new mining operation, Greenland Ruby was able to set up an industry-standard in traceability, responsibility, and environmental best practices. Each gem has a Certificate of Origin approved by the Government of Greenland and can be tracked and traced from the mine.

According to Accenture Strategy’s Global Consumer Pulse Research, more than six in ten younger consumers closely consider a company’s ethical values and authenticity before buying their products. This shift started in the past ten years, but is now imperative, as Millennials and Gen Z are becoming the main buyers in our marketplaces.



Latest Press Releases

July 25, 2019
Greenland Ruby is First Colored Gem Miner to Join Responsible Jewellery Council

May 28, 2019
Greenland Ruby Welcomes New U.S. Greenlandic Diplomat to Its Mine

February 6, 2019
Greenland Ruby Finalizes its Mine-to-Market Certificate Program and Color Ranges

November 15, 2018
Greenland Ruby Welcomes Hartmann’s as the First Brand to Launch a Collection Featuring Greenlandic Gems

May 23, 2018
Break Through for Ruby Miner

May 23, 2018
Greenland Ruby Sponsors Vegas Contest at JCK Luxury

May 11, 2017
Greenland Ruby Announces the Official Opening of its Ruby and Pink Sapphire Mining Operation at Aappalutoq, Greenland

Latest News Coverage

Forbes — August 4, 2020
Sustainable Mining: ‘The Handprint Is Just As Important As The Footprint’

JCK Online — May 7, 2020
How She’s Managing: Greenland Ruby CCO Hayley Henning

Diamonds Do Good — April 4, 2020
The Pink Polar Bear Foundation – Understanding the Future of Greenland

High North News — March 11, 2020
North Norwegian Company Expects Rubies Profits in 2020

JCK — January 28, 2020
The Jewelry District, Episode 11: Guests Hayley Henning and Erik Jens

Greenland — December 18, 2019
Interest in Greenlandic rubies on the rise

Jewellery Business — December 3, 2019
No place like home: Unearthing North American rubies

GemGuide — November 1, 2019
Greenland Ruby

INSTORE Magazine — September 4, 2019
Podcast: From Tanzanite to Greenland Ruby, Hayley Henning Loves Selling Color

Diamond World — July 1, 2019
Marvels from the Arctic

GIA — April 7, 2019
Greenland Ruby Update

National Jeweler — December 27, 2018
5 Developments That Shaped the Colored Stone Sector in 2018

Robb Report — December 20, 2018
This New Ruby Collection Spotlights Greenland’s Most Glamorous Export

Katerina Perez — December 14, 2018
Hartmann’s: The debut jewellery collection featuring world exclusive Greenland rubies

Katerina Perez — December 6, 2018
Greenland Ruby: A brand new corundum that will soon be globally recognised

Jewellery News Asia — December 1, 2018
Greenlandic gem-set jewellery

The Jewelry Magazine — November 23, 2018
The First Full Collection Using Greenland Gems Is Coming

Gioiellis — November 23, 2018
A collection with rubies from Greenland

TV 2 — November 20, 2018
Go’ Morgen Danmark

JCK — November 20, 2018
Danish Jeweler the First to Sell Greenlandic Rubies

Hong Kong Jewellery — November 20, 2018
First Greenland’s gems jewellery collection released

— November 19, 2018
The First Full Collection Using Greenland Gems Is Coming

IDEX — November 19, 2018
Danish Retailer Launches First Brand Set With Greenland Rubies And Sapphires

Sermitsiaq·AG — November 16, 2018
Nu kommer rubinerne på markedet

Hartmanns TV — November 15, 2018
En sjælden leverandør af rubiner

International Colored Gemstone Association News — November 15, 2018
Greenland Ruby Welcomes Hartmann’s as the First Brand to Launch a Collection Featuring Greenlandic Gems

Hartmanns — November 2, 2018
Grønlandske Rubiner

Hartmanns — November 1, 2018
Et Grønlandsk Rubineventyr

InColor — October 31, 2018
Mining Rubies in Greenland The Aappaluttoq Ruby Mine

The University of British Columbia — October 22, 2018
The ruby and pink sapphire deposits of SW Greenland : geological setting, genesis, and exploration techniques

InColor — September 30, 2018
Greenland Ruby – The Gem That Came in from the Cold

GIA — July 1, 2018
Ruby and Pink Sapphire from Aappaluttoq, Greenland: Status of Ongoing Research

UpFront Greenland — December 31, 2017
Greenland Ruby A/S, an affiliate of LNS Greenland, has taken over the Aappaluttoq ruby project

Gems & Jewellery — December 31, 2017
Greenland Ruby: The Mighty Aappaluttoq Arises

High North News — November 7, 2017
Greenland Rubies for NOK 200-300 Million Annually

National Jeweler — September 12, 2017
Greenland Rubies: What We Know At This Point

Arctic Now — May 8, 2017
Mining returns to Greenland with the opening of the Aappaluttoq ruby mine

Event Attendance

Greenland Ruby is ever-present at gem and jewelry events around the world, including the AGTA Gemfair in Tucson, the JCK Las Vegas show, and the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair. We also present research and participate in events such as the International Colored Gemstone Association’s ICA Congress; and CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation’s events.