Trapiche Emeralds

I realize the calendar says June, but May slipped by before I could tell you about my favorite emeralds. This unique emerald is called a Trapiche emerald…pronounced Tra-pee-chee.

Trapiche emeralds were first discovered in two Muzo mines in Colombia. They have an interesting pinwheel pattern and are often cut in cabochons to accentuate this unique pattern. Trapiche is the Spanish word for a sugar cane mill and the miners thought the pattern of these emeralds resembled the gears in the mill, thus naming the emerald Trapiche.

This particular Trapiche emerald is a gorgeous specimen and is part of the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites and

About mrahm

Michelle holds a Graduate Gemologist Diploma, Graduate Diamonds Diploma and Graduate Colored Stones Diploma through the Gemological Institute of America's distance education program. Michelle currently serves as President of the Mile High GIA Alumni Association. She also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Jeweler's Association and is a member of the American Gem Trade Association.
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