Bring on the Ring

The story of the engagement ring, of which she finally knows.
This is the girl, though she doesn’t know it’s coming. 

This is the girl, though she doesn’t know it’s coming. 

First step, collect the stones. Shame only that the one place for gems in Nigeria is in the heart of the Danger Zone, according to the FCO.

First step, collect the stones. Shame only that the one place for gems in Nigeria is in the heart of the Danger Zone, according to the FCO.

Arrival in Jos, curtesy of Arik Air. 

Arrival in Jos, curtesy of Arik Air. 

The man who says he will not marry a woman with other admirers will not marry a woman

—Nigerian Proverb

Farmhouse/Gem dealer haven in Jos

Farmhouse/Gem dealer haven in Jos

brief glimpse from da Gem House views of the mines and surrounding fields. oh yea, we’re getting close!! 

Nija is an amazingly beautiful and fertile land, innit!? 

That’s how they do it… digging for metals (not quite same but the principle’s the same).

That’s how they do it… digging for metals (not quite same but the principle’s the same).

and more women working the hard soil

while the men just stand around ;) 

Nija's mines going all wrong!

Mines in Nija have a bunch of problems… Lead is just one of them; another is that there are no commercial ones, limiting export, efficiency and scale; another is that the informal miners don’t fill in the holes, so the valuable land around Jos is lost to agriculture. 

According to Mr. Gem Dealer, its all the government’s fault: They kicked out skilled international firms willing to invest during the indigenization decrees. Now land owners rent out the right to dig a hole for comparatively huge sums to small time informal miners that have a hard time paying back despite the hard manual daily labour.

Nija is rich in more than just oil. Let’s make something of it. 

Getting somewhere! Sifting out the product. Can’t believe this is real!

Getting somewhere! Sifting out the product. Can’t believe this is real!

Farm Life: Wind Power, Chickens and pretty flowers. Love it!

And on to business! Small collection, but you’ve got to love the sparkles ;)

And on to business! Small collection, but you’ve got to love the sparkles ;)

Mr. Gem Dealer weighing out the loot. They guy’s been in Nija for 50 years, has a glass eye and says “hoho” after every sentence. Legend!

Mr. Gem Dealer weighing out the loot. They guy’s been in Nija for 50 years, has a glass eye and says “hoho” after every sentence. Legend!

Hoho

—Mr. Gem Dealer