Trapiche Emerald / Locality - Muzo Mine, Mun. de Muzo, Vasquez-Yacopi mining district, Boyaca Department, Colombia

$100.00

Shipping to United States: Free

Emeralds are amongst the most well-known yet elusive gems in the world. That's not to say that Emeralds per se are rare, 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 inctices collectors. When it comes to Emeralds, the Trapiche stones stand alone in a class all their one. This particular specimen is a classic example of the famous Muzo Trapiches featuring a mix of green and white in the interior that shows up with good backlighting. The actual "spokes" or "legs" of the stone are incredibly sharp and well-formed with fantastic hexagonal symmetry.


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: Mong Hsu, Loilem District, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma)

Specimen Size: 4.37 mm (thumbnail)
Specimen Weight: 0.24 cts

Shipping from United States

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