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Improving Mindat.orgVeracruz Mexico

3rd Jun 2008 12:43 BSTKeith Compton Manager

Can anyone assist

It appears that the following may now be the one and the same Municipo conatined with Veracruz:

Mun. de Profesor Rafael Ramirez (Las Vigas), Veracruz, Mexico;


Mun. de Tatatila, Veracruz, Mexico.

Las Vigas appears to have changed its name some years ago to de Professor Rafael Ramirez. But now according to Statoids and Wikepaedia there is no such Municipio - but Tatatila has now appeared whereas I couldn't find it before.

Can anyone help clear up this mystery.

I have also noticed that many Amethyst from Veracruz now have Tatatila as the locality.

Perhaps one of our Mexican collectors can assist here.


7th Jun 2008 19:03 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager

Mun. Las Vigas de Ramírez seems to be the current name - have changed localities.

Maybe Tatatila is a neighbouring municipality?

8th Jun 2008 02:47 BSTKeith Compton Manager

Thanks Uwe

I researched some more and your changes look correct to me ..but ..

Tatatila is definitely a neighbouring municipio.

Still not sure on location of mines though


8th Jun 2008 04:13 BSTabuelitocarlos

friend,tatatila is a seperate municipality,las vigas is another,,,the mines are not in the town but about 3 hours away in a village named piedra parada,there are many mines there,small family mines,right now the miners are not working because the military is watching,the mineral rights are under contract to a canadian gold company,so they dont want the miners working the minerals,so few crystals are coming out,,,,abuelito

8th Jun 2008 23:31 BSTAnonymous User

friend,allow me to clarifiy my statement a lot clearer,,,,piedra parada is where the amesthyst mines are,it is in the municipality of tatatila,,,the miners come into las vigas which is another municipality,so they market their crystals there ,,,so correct label for that amesthyst would be tatatila,,,

9th Jun 2008 20:26 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager

Gracias, very interesting information - so it seems the Min. Rec. article got the location wrong.

I have added a comment to the locality site (with a referral to this thread).

What other minerals occur together with amethyst near Piedra Parada?

10th Jun 2008 14:55 BSTKeith Compton Manager

If what you say is correct then Minerals of Mexico (William Paczner) is also now incorrect. He listed the locality as being in the Municipio of Profesor Rafael Ramirez.

Wish I could read some of the Spanish articles.

Happy to go with Piedras Parado being in Municipio de Tatatila.

Just would like to get a more official map/co-ordinates

28th Aug 2008 03:27 BSTAnonymous User

I just saw this thread and thought I could clear up a few things

Piedra Parada (standing rock) is a small village situated on a ridgeback. The terrain falls off steeply there. It is eleven miles of bad road across a huge valley from Las Vigas. It used to be a four hike for the miners to carry specimens out. GPS coordinates are 19° 43' 30" North, 97° 1' 30" West.

The Mineralogical Record Special Issue III, Nov.-Dec. 2003, Volume 34, No. 6 is a great source for more information on this locale.

Associated minerals are, epidote (to 1mm), laumontite (to 2.5cm), calcite (brushy scalenohedrons to 10cm), lepidocrocite inclusions (to 1mm), barite (thin white crystals to 5cm and thicker ones to 10cm+), analcime (to 6mm), and an unidentified garnet (2mm). In the skarns below the andesite flows are some beautiful demantoid (1cm).

In 2003, a large walk in pocket 15 meters long was discovered. This was in the area known as Las Cascadas or the Cruz mine. It is located by a large waterfall. As with all of these claims there is a dispute over the rightful ownership. The pieces are characterized by deep purple, double terminated crystals to 5cm associated with calcite. Thousands of groups came out including some very large groups. This got a lot of miners working.

In 2005, a series of pockets in the Epimenio mine began to produce groups associated with epidote. This culminated in December 2005 with an extraordinary pocket with some large plates. This mine is now considered to be mined out, but this year a new digging in the area produced a few very nice combos. These deep colored crystals have thin scepter necks and many broke off matrix.

Last year in March, another digging produced some beautiful lighter colored scepters. They are stout and lustrous with fensters.

This year has had very little production. The Mexican army controls all explosives. It is almost impossible for small scale miners to legally obtain fuse and caps. Electric SDS hammer drills and generators are now used to drill parallel holes to remove larger groups than were possible in the past.

Specimens are then packed in sawdust and moss to prevent damage as they are carried on their backs up and out. Powdered soap in clear boxes is used later to safely transport and comply with new US regulations that prohibit using sawdust (bugs).

The conditions are very dangerous and some miners have the wheeze of silicosis. They follow yellow stringers to find the infrequent pockets. The lots are sold complete (the good, the bad and the ugly) in Las Vigas. No one wants to be high graded. It would be almost impossible for the miners to make the investment, obtain the visas, pass all the checkpoints in Mexico, comply with US and Mexican customs, travel the four thousand miles and find a good venue in someplace like Tucson. Then, what would they do with what was left.

Still the hope remains that more incredible finds will be coming out.

28th Apr 2009 20:07 BSTDoug Jensen


Please contact me directly....

Thank you

Doug Jensen

28th Apr 2009 22:50 BSTRock Currier Expert

All this stuff should go into the locality database for that locality and exactly the kind of thing I would want to put in Best Minerals. Denis, would you be willing to undertake the task of writing up Mexican Quartz crystals? We badly need someone with your kind of knowledge to do this. Take a look at what has been done with Australian quartz.

Though not as prominent as the amethyst from Vera Cruz, we are going to have to change the locality listing for Kandivili Quarry Bombay to Malad. I have been making inquiries and will soon make the change with the appropriate explanations. I have been using Kandivili for years and have been to the locality many times.

22nd Jan 2013 00:29 GMTGaylon Lee

All, you may well have figured this out by now, but here's what I've found:

Going to, and using their base map (Google street) yields the boundaries of the Tatatila adminstrative area. Enlarging the view of the SW part of the adminstrative area by two clicks will reveal the location of Piedra Parada.

Although no scale is given for the map, searching Google Maps for "Piedra Prada, Veracruz, Mexico" will yeild a map with a map scale, which, when enlarged to the same scale as the map showing the admin boundary, reveals that the town is located within about 2000 feet of the SE border of Tatatila Mun. shows that the Mun adjacent to Tatatila Mun. (#156) to the SE is Vigas de Ramírez Mun (#132), within easy walking distance of Piedra Parada.

Thus the MINES that produce the Amethysts could actually be in Las Vigas de Ramirez Mun. even though TOWN of Piedra Parada is in Tatatila Mun.

Does anyone know which direction the mines are located with respect to Piedra Parada?

22nd Jan 2013 03:29 GMTAnonymous User

Hello Gaylon,

This is extremely rough territory. I have not been to the diggings but I have been to Piedra Parada a number of times. The article in the Mineralogical Record (Mexico, Special Issue no. III) has great detail on this. Jack Crawford's photos show just how rugged the terrain is!

The amethyst zone is very close to Piedra Parada to the north. You can see how it drops off fast. The zone runs for several kilometers approximately following the ridge.

Google maps map pin does not show exactly where the village is. If you follow the dirt road to the west three kilometers along the ridge, you will arrive there. It is eleven miles by rough road from Piedra Parada to Las Vigas and takes me about one and a half hours to drive. Don Epimenio told me as we drove there "Isn't this a great road, it was a four hour hike with a pack on the back and one in front before they put the road in". It took Steve Green and a mule team eight hours back then.


23rd Jan 2013 05:27 GMTGaylon Lee

Hi, Dennis,

Thanks for your very timely, friendly and helpful response.

Following your advice, on Google Maps (which has a map scale) and Earth (which tilts), I followed what I presume to be the dirt road along the ridge westward ~3 km to a little cluster of white-roofed buildings that I take to be the actual Piedra Parada village.

If so, then:

1. Boy, do I see what you mean about rough country!

2. Proceeding N from the village, one comes to a set of upper cliffs about 200 m high, beneath which is a less steep "bench", which in turn breaks off into another even higher and very steep slope (if not cliffs). The ENE-trending border between Tatatila Mun and Altotonga Mun seems follow along the outer edge of the bench and is within about 3000 map (horizontal) feet of the village.

3. Depending on how far N and downslope the diggings are, they could be in Altotonga Mun.
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