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The Gem Capital of Brazil

By Linda Tancs

It’s easy to understand why tourism is becoming a major industry in Brazil.  Consider the charm of Carnaval, the glam of Rio de Janeiro and the majesty of the Amazon.  But gem hunters have a different reason to sing the country’s praises:  Téofilo Otoni, a city in northeast Minas Gerais state where minerals reign (or, some might say, rain) supreme.  Its trade in precious stones (particularly aquamarine) renders the city the gem capital of Brazil.  In fact, an International Gemstones and Minerals Fair is held there every year.

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