Two Face is a supervillain from the DC comic book series of Batman who is easily identifiable in that one half of his face is normal while the other has been burned by acid. Two Face flips a coin to determine the fate of his victims, will he be merciful, or will he be a villain? While not as dramatic as Two Face from the Batman series, the gemstone world has its own Two Faces! Luckily for us, they don’t determine our fate in the world, but they do open our eyes to the wondrous possibilities nature has to offer!
Quartz that displays two distinct colors, purple and golden yellow, in the same gemstone is called Ametrine (I’m thinking that if you are a Lakers fan, this is your gemstone!)! The name Ametrine comes from combining “ame” from Amethyst and “trine” from Citrine. Ametrine is a naturally occurring gemstones that is only commercially sourced from the Ricón del Tigre area of Bolivia, specifically, the Anahi Mine. The mine was named after the native Princess Anahi who, legend has it, was married to the Spanish conquistador who discovered the mine in the 1600’s. The mine was apparently lost for centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1960’s.
Both Amethyst and Citrine varieties of Quartz attribute their color from iron impurities but with different oxidation states bringing about the two different colors. Instead of occurring in two separate crystal structures, sometimes, it occurs in the same crystal! Gemstone cutters will often cut Ametrine into an emerald cut because you can best see the colors and where they split. Some gemstone cutters cut unique shapes and designs to display the colors in an interesting way.
The bicolor feature of Ametrine can also be accomplished by a hydrothermal process synthesizing the color. In a previous blog, www.angelacisneros.com/post/how-do-you-want-to-be-treated , I talk about how treatments on gemstones must be disclosed to the consumer in the advertising and sales process. Just as naturally occurring Ametrine is a wondrous part of nature, the process of synthesizing the color is an interesting feat of human ingenuity but it is essential that consumers know what they are buying.
I would love to help you with your special purchase or custom design! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:
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*Photo credit: nationalgemlab.in