Trapiche Emerald (superb matched pair) / Butterfly Wings - Muzo Mine, Mun. de Muzo, Boyaca Department, Colombia

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Emeralds are amongst the most well-known yet elusive gems in the world. That's not to say that Emeralds are rare per se, but fine GEM quality stones are certainly much harder to find than the majority of commonly known gems. Colombia is the world's leading producer of gem quality Emeralds, but it's not only the transparent material that entices collectors. When it comes to Emeralds, the Trapiche stones stand alone in a class all their own. Here we have a superb matched pair of this classic material from the famous Muzo Trapiches featuring a two individual pieces that originally comprised a single Trapiche specimen, but were sliced and polished – almost resembling butterfly wings – while still retaining their superior fantastic hexagonal arrangement and symmetry along with top notch gem clarity and beautiful color. The optic grade gem interior is outstanding for the set, and the individual "legs" or "spokes" are incredibly sharp, distinct and well-formed. The beautiful glowing green interior shows up well even with no backlighting.

A little history -

The word "Trapiche" comes from the name of a Spanish mill consisting of wooden spokes or rollers that were designed to extract the juice from fruit, including olives, dating back to the Middle Ages. The machine was also later adapted to extract juice from sugar cane.

This term has been used for minerals since 1879 when Emile Bertrand first used it to describe Emeralds from Colombia. The dark six-sided star shaped patterns seen inside the crystals (when viewed looking down the "c" axis) are similar to the actual spokes of a trapiche machine. A Trapiche is the result of the hexagonal shape of the crystal, where the darker impurities interrupt the growth of the crystal and are pushed to the center of the crystal and then radiates out in the six directions of the corners of the crystal. Typically, it is required that crystals are sliced and polished in order to see the "legs" of the Trapiche more clearly.

Although this phenomenon is exceptionally rare around the world, in addition to Emeralds, I have personally observed these inclusions in Ruby, Sapphire and Tourmaline, so it stands to reason that there is a connection between hexagonal / trigonal mineral species and the "Trapiche" effect.

Locality: Muzo Mine, Mun. de Muzo, Vasquez-Yacopi mining district, Boyaca Department, Colombia

Size: 13 mm x 7 mm x 3.5 mm (approx. each) (thumbnail)
Weight: 4.02 carats (total weight for both pieces)

Specimen #WWMIX82102

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The following items can't be returned or exchanged

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