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Kenya Ruby Mining Guide

map kenya regions rubies
A modern map of Kenya clearing showing the extent of the Mozambique Orogenic Belt.

Experts believe that Kenya holds tremendous potential as a reliable source of rubies.  Like Tanzania, the country obtains much of its gem wealth from a geological feature known as the Mozambique Orogenic Belt, which contains one of the richest gem loads on earth.

History Of Rubies In Kenya

Ruby deposits were first discovered in Kenya in the 1970s at one of the country’s most famous game parks, the Tsavo-West National Park.  Today, several different companies mine rubies in the Kasigau and Mangare areas west of the park.

The Tasvo-West rubies, sometimes called Mangare rubies, are usually red to purplish red.  They are said to resemble Burmese rubies because of their strong color and fluorescence . Unlike Burmese rubies, however, they typically contain fingerprint inclusions, which are sometimes mistaken for the flux inclusions found in synthetic rubies.   

ruby natural crystal rough kenya
A stunning sample of natural ruby crystal rough.

A new ruby deposit located north of the capital Nairobi in the Baringo district has been in production for a while now.  Rubies from the Baringo district range from pink to purplish red and their qualities differ from those found at Tsavo-West due to their basaltic origins.

Although ruby production has varied over the years, the Kenyan government is committed to building a sustainable future for its promising gemstone industry. The mining Cabinet Secretary has been known to give tours to gemstone dealers showcasing standout rubies that have been mined in the country.

In recent years, many gemstones coming from the area have been heralded for their quality and beautiful pink color. Many experts believe that truly magnificent rubies are on tap to come out of Kenya in the coming years and make a big statement in the market.

mining efforts in kenya
Ruby mining activities in Kenya.

The Mozambique Belt holds a vast wealth of gemstone deposits, and next we explore another country affected by this geology in Ruby Mines in Malawi.