When we began to cut gems, we saw that the península ibérica had gemmological material which was not cut but it had all the qualities to be used like a gem; we began cutting Sphalerite and Variscite, step by step the number of the Iberian material was growing; by the way we got information about the lapidary tradition since the prehistory.
We liked this study too much and over the aesthetic value of the material itself, the cultural, historic and antropological components, gave us a special value and did open the way studying the materials from our ancestors. This study was not done never before, not one completed study, not in theory not in practice, that´s why we began seriosly the work, theoric and practic, we search, identify and did lapidaries proof from all the material from the península ibérica, all this work is presented in the Geological Museum in Barcelona.

Like you can see looking the exposition, there are a great variety of gems, some one, with a nice aesthetic quality and others are the result of the experimentation in materials quite rare in the gemological use. The approach used in the selection of the materials is the next:

1. Materials with a certain cultural and antropological interest, used since the prehistoric time like the Serpentine, Variscite, Silex, Esteatite, organics materials, etc.

Serpentine, Costabona

2. Gemological materials recognized for its use in jeyellery or ornamentation like the Topaz, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Garnets, etc.

Aquamarine, Pereña

3. Materials described in the gemological literature like a collection stone, for example Dolomite, Cuprite, Aragonite, Siderite, etc.

Aragonite, León

4. Experimental materials which we have not constance that they were cut before like the Vonsenite, Inesite, Aerinite, etc. Some one with great results, others not at all. Some of this kind of gems get an interest for the collectors, because there are scarce and it´s quite difficult to find like the Cobalt-Calcite, Aerinite,Sphalerite, Inesite, Piromorfite, Natroalunite, etc.

Inesite de Gualba (Montseny)

5. Other materials that we have tasted in lapidation, but we could not find great samples for the size or the quality like the Axinite, Scheellite, Zircon, etc; other materials we did not cut for the high fragility like the sulphur, salt gem, etc.

6. This is an open work because the large variety of gemological materials and the differences between everyone in colours, textures, etc. We are sure that in every town, region and comunity get some kind or material that should be worked and give great gems.


Gem localities in the peninsula Iberica

Search the material Search and selection of the material. A lot of the material showed in the Museum has been find by us in different travels around the península ibérica that we did like: Girona, Almeria coast, Santander, Córdoba etc. Other materials were given to us from different collectors or institutions. Finally some of the material we bought to a suppliers or in a fairs like: Expominer, Feria de la Unión, Feria de st. Celoni etc.

The cut . All the gems showed in the museum had been cut for Josep Mª Serrano i Montse Bagué, trying to show the different kinds of the materials and the maximum kinds of different cuts in cab, facet and carving.

Treatments. Sometimes, the gems receive treatments, by different methodes like: dyed, heated, impregned, radiated, etc.All the gems showed in the exposition, without no one exception, are naturals, with no one treatment at all.

Technique. The tecnique used for to cut we used diferents methodes: by hand, by cabber machine, by the traditional methode used in Barcelone: Invention and divider. And even high precision machines.

Cut design: We used the traditional methode of drawing and even informatic methode program assisted by computer, especialited in gems cut.

HELP AND PRECEDENTS: in this work about the materials with a gemmological interest from the península Ibérica : Mr. Robert Celades, Mr. Garcia-Guinea, Mr. Jaume Serrate.


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© Montse Bagué and Josep M. Serrano.Text and photos. Reproduction not allowed without permission.