Trapiche ruby

trapiche ruby

Trapiche ruby is a rare variety of the gemstone corundum, characterized by a six-pointed radial pattern of ray-like spokes of dark impurities.

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It is one of several types of trapiche or trapiche-like minerals, which also include trapiche emerald, sapphire, garnet, chiastolite and tourmaline. The name comes from the Spanish term trapiche, a sugar mill, because of the resemblance of the pattern to the spokes of a grinding wheel.

The radial pattern exhibits considerable variance, and often includes a hexagonal structure at the core. There is not yet consensus about the mechanism by which the pattern forms, or the conditions required for it.


A pink to blood-red colored gemstone. A variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). Other varieties of gem colors corundum are sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems. Together with amethyst, also sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The color is due to the chromium element.

The quality depends on its color. Also from cut, and clarity. Which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds. A clear stone will command a premium.

Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0 and moissanite falling somewhere in between corundum and diamond in hardness.

Pure corundum are α-alumina, the most stable form of Al2O3, in which 3 electrons leave each aluminum ion to join the regular octahedral group of six nearby O2− ions, in pure corundum this leaves all of the aluminum ions with a very stable configuration of no unpaired electrons or unfilled energy levels, and the crystal is perfectly colorless.

Trapiche ruby from Mogok, Myanmar

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