The most popular Gemstones in our region.
Amethyst is characterized by violet tones – there is a yellowish-orange variety that is achieved with a heat treatment. It is used for ornamental, decorative and jewelery purposes and is attributed healing and mystical properties.
Agate, appreciated for its hardness, is characterized by blue, celestial and gray colors, is widely used for decorative and utilitarian objects, for example mortars and pots for use in chemical activity and even for making sculptures.
120 million years ago
Modern geological studies provide very accurate maps of the location of productive areas. The geodes, were formed under very particular conditions. 120 million years ago, when the continental opening was generated that gave rise to the Atlantic Ocean, basaltic lava advanced on sedimentary rocks giving rise to the formation Arapey.
Lava glowing moved and when arriving at the present mining area of the Uruguayan north was found with a sandy zone. The silica of the sand melted with the lava, generating a viscous mass that contained bubbles in whose inside were forming crystals of quartz.
The impurities of the sand mixed with lava in these bubbles, added to a slow cooling, gave rise to colors and sizes of amethysts of high value, very different from those in other parts of the world and highly appreciated.
Catalan Grande and La Bolsa
The mining center has as its core the Catalan Grande areas – it takes the name of a stream -, where in 1817 the Battle of Catalan was developed between Portuguese and Portuguese forces, and La Bolsa, where there is a town of Mevir. That is 50 km away – the access is between the landmarks 177 and 178 of route 30- of the departmental capital, which is located at 610 km from Montevideo.