This site is intended to provide information on the world famous Aliva sphalerite mine situated in Cantabria, Spain. Mineralogical and gemological characteristics of the sphalerite gem and its faceting process will be discussed as well.

Gem sphalerite is the most outstanding Spanish gem material. Aliva mine produced the world best and largest transparent toffee-colored sphalerites, well known worldwide by collectors of rare gems and minerals. Spectacular faceted Spanish sphalerites can be found in museums and private gem collections worldwide.

The Aliva mine was closed in 1989 thus all the rough and faceted Spanish sphalerites existing in the market, including ours, come from old material extracted many years ago and stored for decades by mineral dealers. Clear and good color stones are very difficult to find even in Aliva deposit; and the cease of the mine production made high quality faceted sphalerite into a highly valuated rare gem.

Sphalerite is a soft stone. Its hardness is only 3.5-4 on Mohs scale. That's why it is normally not used in jewelry. It does have however both a very high refractive index and an extremely high dispersion, making this gem an extraordinary piece for gem collections.


Enjoy our site and use this unique opportunity to become an owner of one of these really rare gems that will be even more difficult to find with the passage of time!


Faceted Sphalerite from Aliva mine

Faceted sphalerite from Aliva mine, 131ct, "Bright Angel" cut, design by Paul Head,
faceted by Egor Gavrilenko. (For details of this stone click here).