04-04. Topaz #3.

This one to the people of Ouro Prato!

Ouro Prato, Brazil, is one of the oldest and largest topaz mines in the world. This community is also one of the rare examples where mining has benefited directly the locals – to a point where a unique name was given to this town’s architectural and artistic expression – Barroco miner – or miners’ baroque. Maybe not quite our taste today but back in the 1700s, the Portugues brought with them the best they had to offer and shared it. This town is today part of the UNESCO world heritage center.

The strange “baroque looking” pattern of the bonds joining together the atoms of this topaz structure made me think of that unexpected connection. The two little tangram-like characters dancing the bossa-nova? I leave it up to your imagination, but they are an exact representation of the topaz polyhedral structure. A tour of the geometry of Nature can be educational, entertaining – and fun too!

From a resource by Chen, Lager, Kunz & Ulmer.


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