The Chronicle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Mon­day, Septem­ber 19, 1966 — There is in Fort Vic­to­ria a live wire anti-sanc­tions com­mit­tee and it was this com­mit­tee which sug­gested to Mr Stu­art Ruther­fo­ord-Jones, the pro­pri­etor of Minute Jew­ellers, that the cut­ting and pol­ish­ing of emer­alds was not be­yond his scope.

This del­i­cate work is nor­mally done in West Ger­many — a fa­cil­ity which, since UDI, is de­nied to the Rhode­sian mar­ket.

But now, though only in a very small way as yet, it is be­ing done in Fort Vic­to­ria by Mr Ruther­fo­ord-Jones.

Born in Fort Vic­to­ria, Mr Ruther­fo­ord-Jones (34), has been in busi­ness there as a watch-maker and jew­eller since 1962. Be­fore that he had a jew­eller’s busi­ness in Bu­l­awayo.“For years I toyed with the idea of cut­ting my own gems but I’d never got around to it. Then came UDI, and the sug­ges­tion from the anti-sanc­tions com­mit­tee, and I de­cided to go ahead,’’ he said.

First he had to teach him­self how to use a spe­cial ma­chine for the pur­pose and he in­tends to teach two Africans how to use it.

The cut gems he has al­ready turned out, some of which he has ex­ported, have been pro­nounced by the ex­perts, he says, as “very sat­is­fac­tory.”

All his emer­alds, so far, have come from a 40-mile ra­dius of Fort Vic­to­ria.

Some of the value of be­ing able to do this work is given by the fact that the price of a top qual­ity un­cut emer­ald varies be­tween £1 and £3 a carat. When cut and pol­ished the same emer­ald could fetch £175 a carat.

“If all goes well with what is now just a small ven­ture then it is pos­si­ble that I might be able to es­tab­lish a cut­ting and pol­ish­ing fac­tory in Fort Vic­to­ria,’’ said Mr Ruther­fo­ord-Jones.

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