Estudios Geológicos, Vol 72, No 2 (2016)

Resolución de enigmas geológicos e históricos utilizando técnicas gemológicas avanzadas: Caso del ópalo noble de Franco Dávila (1772)


https://doi.org/10.3989/egeol.42459.410

J. García-Guinea
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, CSIC), España

J. González-Alcalde
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, CSIC), España

M. Furio
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, CSIC), España

A. Jorge
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, CSIC), España

F. Garrido
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, CSIC), España

Resumen


Un gran ópalo noble de 33 gramos engastado en montura de plata dorada está expuesto al público en el Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN). Esta pieza histórica está documentada en su propia montura (año 1772), en el legajo 775 del Archivo del Museo y en la muestra 395 del Catálogo de muestras de Pedro Franco Dávila. Su patrón de difracción de rayos X (DRX) es muy parecido al de otros ópalos de origen volcánico y contiene cantidades variables de cristobalita, tridimita y sílice amorfa. El espectro Raman muestra una banda con picos a 242, 343 y 416 cm-1 asociados a deformaciones O-Si-O; otra con picos a 780 y 819 cm-1 de vibraciones de tensión simétricas O-Si-O de anillos de 3 y 4 eslabones y otras menores. El espectro Raman es similar a los de ópalos mexicanos de origen volcánico y muestra una banda con nodos de tensión v1 (OH) a 3233, 3393, 3511, 3628 cm-1 relacionados con grupos OH con enlaces de hidrógeno con grupos silanoles aislados. Mediante microscopía dual confocal interferométrica 3D (MCI3D), que es una técnica no destructiva de alta resolución y tecnología LED, se desvela la geometría de grabado del buril sobre la montura mientras que la tomografía computerizada de rayos X destaca la talla cuadrada de tipo carre-princesa y los rellenos de AgCl de una fisura. Bajo microscopia electrónica de barrido ambiental (MEBA) se han observado baritinas, filoncillos de sílice enriquecida en Mn y elevados contenidos de Al y K. Estos datos, junto con la información histórica sugieren que la pieza procede de los yacimientos históricos de ópalos encajados en andesitas de Eslovaquia y explican la compleja óptica del cabujón. El marco de Ag tiene Hg y AgCl que indican su extracción por amalgama; además tiene Ag2S que podría provenir de Nueva España, entonces (año 1772) en plena producción de plata. La asociación de varias técnicas analíticas no-destructivas preserva la integridad de esta pieza histórica aportando datos analíticos significativos que permiten deducir procesos genéticos de minerales, procedencias y técnicas de manufactura de materiales. Todo ello facilita la caracterización, interpretación, conservación y valorización del patrimonio cultural y arqueológico.

Palabras clave


Ópalo; Gemología; Colecciones Históricas; Técnicas no destructivas

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Referencias


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