(Spanish) Natural spinel is a beatiful gem, hard (8 in the Mohs scale, similar to topaz) and durable, but for whatever the reason it has never come to the fore in the gem trade as a good contender.

It is true that spinel has historically occured along with ruby and sapphire in the same deposits, and in many many occasions mistakenly considered as ruby and sold as that -in rough state both spinel and ruby might look pretty much the same-, so this could be one of the reasons for that “bad name” of the spinel.

Another reason for that “bad name” is the everywhere pervading synthetic spinel, a cheap man-made procduct used to imitate almost all kinds of natural gemstones, whether it is in the form of single stones, single stones cracked and dyed or triplets of all colors.

A good spinel, clean inside, with good color, is rarer than ruby. However, it is much cheaper, and what is more, to date no treatment is known that could enhance spinel appereance, they don’t allow themselves to be tamed, so all colors rendered by natural spinels are natural, as they came off the ground: is there anything more attractive than natural, untamed beauty?



Cuarzo citrino. Citrine quartz. 黄水晶。
‘Málaga’, el mayor citrino tallado del mundo. ‘Malaga’, the wordl’s largest cut citrine quartz. “马拉加”一颗2200克拉的黄水晶就在ArtNatura,马拉加宝石博物馆。

(Spanish) Royal Collections has just presented its latest acquisition, the ‘Malaga’ citrine quartz, the largest cut citrine ever seen, weighting 2,200 carats, or 440 grams –nearly one pound of gemstone!

‘Malaga’ will be on show at the gems and natural science museum Art Natura, in Malaga city –southern Spain-. ´This museum will hold the world largest collection of gemstones, and will open its doors in 2011.

Despite of its size, ‘Malaga’, this big gem, renders an exellent clarity, since it is almost free of inclusions, and its color is reportedly absolutely natural, with no treatment or enhacement whatsoever.

It is known that most citrine quartz available in the market comes from heated amethysts, in particular amethysts which have a high content in Iron III as an impurity in their crystal lattices. This kind of heat treatment –at about 450ºC- induces a change in the Iron oxidation state, which consequently brings about a change in the color of the crystal: from vilolet to an orangish yellow.

If the original amethyst crystal is overheated, say 500ºC, the final color deepens to a brownish orange. These stones are commercially known as Palmeira Quartz.

If the treatment is further overdone, above 600ºC, the amethyst turns into a lifeless translucent to opaque whitish crystal, although sometimes this mistake is cut in cabochon and sold as Moonstone.

Fortunately, there are natural exceptions to all of the above, and Royal Collections’ ‘Malaga’ citrine quartz is one of them,  a big and beatiful one, that will add to the Special Exibition Gems collection. This collection  -that the one who is writing is eager to see- holds 24 magnificent gemstones deemed unique in the world due to their out-of-the-ordinary size and gemmological quality.

Lo bonito gusta de lo bonito. Beauties admiring beauty. 美女欣赏“马拉加”黄水晶。


(Spanish) Art Natura Malaga, the museum holding  the world largest collection of gemstones, will open its doors in 2011. I am really eager to finally visit the premises and enjoy their exibits. Lucky Malagenians,  and lucky Malaga visitors  too!

Right after my first of sure many many visits, I will write here my impressions and some pics -if I am allowed-.

Just to start with, in collaboration with the University of Malaga, ArtNatura has put up a two-year gemology course that will begin -if there are no more delays- in october 2011. I wish they had thought about it a few years ago,  when I began to seriously study gemology.

Anyway, here you are thier website, if you are in Malaga, or planning to visit us, and want to know more about this: Art-Natura.es.    See you.

El Dorado, the world largest cut topaz
Gateway to the museum