Trapiche emeralds are in a class by themselves. Found only in Colombia at Coscuez, La Peña and the celebrated Muzo mining district, these are perhaps the rarest of "pattern" gems, and certainly the most unusual amongst the big three (emerald, ruby, and sapphire). Their six spoke-like carbon "rays" emanating from a hexagonal center with the
areas in between filled with lively emerald green makes this a gem you'll never forget once you see one. These rays appear much like asterism, but, unlike asterism, they are not caused by light reflection from tiny parallel inclusions, but by black carbon impurities that happen to form in the
same pattern. A TRAPICHE is the result of the growth of an Emerald Crystal with the darkened impurity of lutite. As the Crystal grows in its normal six-sided shape, the darker lutite is pushed to the center of the Crystal and then radiates out in the six directions of the corners of the Crystal. It is an absolutely amazing natural process that creates an Emerald Crystal with a six leg "star" of the darker Lutite
The earliest reference to trapiche emeralds was in an 1879 French mineralogical bulletin. It was more than 36 years later before it appeared again, remarkable because such literary greats as George Kunz were writing much around the turn of the Century. Gemological examination show that the trapiche is a single crystal not a twinned specimen as on though. A 1970, analysis of MUZO´s trapiche emerald by Nassau
and Jackson, found that the principal coloring agent was vanadium.
Trapiche is the Spanish word for a spoked wheel used to grind sugar cane which bears a striking resemblance to the pattern in these
emeralds. It is pronounced trah-pee-chee with the accent on the second syllable.
There are two types of trapiche emeralds.
The "A" this type has fine bands and lighter emerald
separating the sections. Very clean crystals, with center lines, usually from Muzo mine. Is very rare Trapiche emeralds of more than 6 carats in this type of Trapiches.
The more prized is "B" type, ranges from 2 to 50 carats and has distinct carbon bands
with deep green color. There is just few specimens that meet all standars of high quality Trapiches:Color, Center lines and good cut.
Trapiche emeralds are valued based on a number of factors.
1- The most important is the definition, completeness, and centering of the "rays.".
2- A close second factor is the color of the emerald which ideally is deep, saturated, and even.
3-And third, and also quite important, is the quality of the cut.
You have to see our trapiche collection to appreciate the quality it has on all three counts: the rays are clean and distinct, the color is intense and even, and the cut is superb including some sculpturing underneath to add appeal and eliminate unnecessary weight.
When you think trapiche, think fine. And don't miss an opportunity to see the our exclusive collection at Esmerald.com.