Bolivianita . Valuable gem from Bolivia . Semiprecious stone that results from a fusion of amethyst with citrine , whose colors cover a range that goes from yellow to violet and that is extracted from deposits of Santa Cruz , in the east, and Tarija , in the valleys of the south.
In the middle of the jungle and the dangers of an 80-day foray into these inhospitable areas, more precisely in the east of Santa Cruz near the border with Brazil , the then young Rodolfo Meyer, 24, discovered a hidden treasure. It was the only deposit in the world of a previously unknown semi-precious gem that Meyer would later call the “Bolivianite”. Thus, the vigorous boy found this stone in 1983 . Meyer currently heads one of the two concessionaires that operate Bolivianita, and based on Law No. 3998 promulgated in 2009 , which declares it a national emblem and prohibits its raw export.
Bolivianite, also called ametrine, is a gem, a variety of quartz that presents a unique fusion of amethyst with citrine that give it such diverse colors ranging from subdued yellows to the lilac range, to deep violets and whose characteristics make it unique in the world.
- Color: Violet and yellow
- Chemical composition: Quartz, silicic anhydride
- Hardness: 7 on the Mohs scale
What causes the rare effect of two different colors, sharply divided into the same gemstone, is the fusion of two gemstones: Amethyst and Citrine. This happens because of the oxidation difference of iron as a coloring element within the quartz structure. Amethysts and Citrines belong to the family of macrocrystalline quartz, but they vary in color due to their coloring element, iron , which differs in the level of oxidation.
This stone can only be explored in the Anahí Mine, the only deposit in the world, located in the Germán Busch province , near the Lagunas Mandioré and La Gaiba in the Municipality of Puerto Quijarro in the department of Santa Cruz , in Bolivia .
Bolivian iconic gem
The “Bolivianita” is now an iconic gem of Bolivian identity in the world, according to a law enacted in that country in January of 2009 . The norm declared its industrialization of national interest and prohibited for a period of ten years its export, whether it be rough, hammered, sawn and / or preformed, and could only be exported as a cut gem.
The main Bolivianite export markets, according to Rodolfo Meyer, owner of the largest exporting company in the field, are the United States , France , Germany , and some countries in Asia . Sales of Bolivian gemstones abroad have almost doubled in the past two years.