MINERAL EXPLORERS | S1 | Ep6 | MEXICO
Before. Montezuma. And before. Cortez, the. Natives of what we now call Mexico work, with the ancient, and lustrous mineral, of silver, in masterful. Ways, crafting. Sculptures, flaked by the sparks, of the earth the. Pre-columbian. Silversmithing, was, soon a calling card of a conquered nation and. Mexican. Silver would, help fund the discovery, of new lands, my, name is Thomas Nagin and, I am a mineral Explorer, for. The last 35, years I've traveled the world in, search of the finest, gems, crystals. And minerals. Now. I'm, taking, you along. With me. We'll. Visit some of the richest mines and, discover, just. What it takes to unearth these natural, treasures, gonna be one heck of an explosion. It's. Okay come on. Home. To nearly 20, million people Mexico. City is one of the largest cities in the world, once. The capital of a powerful, Aztec, empire, Spanish. Conquest, in the early 1500s, allowed. Cortes, to seize control and, build, a capital for New Spain, soon, the Spanish were on the hunt for the silver, and gold that was once a gift from the natives today. Mexico. City is home to one of the country's most prominent, silver, houses. Here. At Thani the, tradition, of Mexican, silver smithing can, still be seen in its world-class. Craftsmanship. From, their pre-columbian. Influence, to, its more modern and elegant designs, the. Art of silversmithing has, not, been lost and here. Is a great example of, the, evolution of the spoon from. The ingot to the finished product. Townie. Pieces, can be found in the homes of royalty, movie. Stars, industry. Leaders and in museum, collections, the. Company, prides itself both. In preserving, and evolving, the art of molding, this noble, metal. The. Skill of the craftsman their. Attention, to detail their, knowledge of generations. Past is. Reflected. In the anthem of the workshop, a new. Creative note with every, strike of the hammer. For. Decades, Connie's been well known throughout Mexico, for its top quality, craftsmanship, and. That starts, with top-quality, silver. Here. Is a place, where everything, is beginning, we all, that, we are making in Tunney is from. Three, things this, this. Is grain coming. From the mind directly in ingots. And. This. Is like an ad limen is silver, all of this is Mexican, silver so. This, is a laminate, of silver, and. It's, 970. 97. Percent silver. Look. At that if you want to make quality after you have to begin with a very good. Element. At the beginning you have to start with quality to, end up with quality, that's is that's a point so this is pure, silver here this is these, are silver, ingots, which are. 970. And I, would show you how with, this and only one hammer they can make a very big spoon with, one hammer oh that, would be cool I'd love to see that. He's. Making a spoon meal right okay. I'm gonna shut up, here. They're making a spoon it's a sample spoon out, of brass this. Is the finished product they want to get to it's a dessert spoon, first. They use this, as a model and they pound it out like, he's doing here to, this size they. Send it to be polished, and they trim it up and then. They take it here, and they, pound it out like. This. To. Make the contour, of the spoon, with. A little heat and a, lot of hard work we. Witness, a piece of Mexican, history take. Shape. It's. Actually, forming, the silver. Silver. Is a hard metal and needs. To be heated before it's shaped, with. The right artist and a few thousand, spins, but. Once was a rock is now a chalice. Everything. Must be measured, so, that it is the precise, size. Perfect. We. Put it in plastic because. Of to. Keep the color of the steel to keep it from oxidize exactly, all of these are very famous artists from Mexico, this is Soriano. This is Toledo from Oaxaca. This, is Rodriguez. This is genetics, it's, called la la, linterna, la. Linterna the, light. The, shine of high-quality silver. Has, long, lit the curiosity. Of visitors, to Mexico, from. The early Spanish explorers, to modern-day collectors. Now. Mexican. Silver has become a blank, canvas, to artists, around the world. John. Hendricks was born in the Netherlands, but, has lived and worked in Mexico since, 1978. And is, now collaborating, with taani the. Whole thing grew out of out. Of drawing and. Did. The, draftsmanship, and, the, work I've been doing as a printmaker, has. Gradually. Got me into suddenly, these large drawings, that I realized. I could fold them up or unfold. Them and turn them into sculptures. So. It's a bit of a, two-dimensional, drawing that turns it to a three-dimensional object, so, when did you start turning, these drawings, and to say about 15 years ago the.
Thing Really started, plastic. Collaboration, with, architects. And doing the upscaling, in a in a literary, sense that you make a drawing and you make it bigger or you make it very small so. You start to do things, really in a, big scale, or in a very small scale making, a piece with, silver. Gets, you to a small. Scale and then, the, drawing becomes a very intimate affair. You. Know how do you like working with solar for, me as a printmaker and, a draw a draftsman paper is very seductive, but. Nowadays one. Of the materials, I really, am both, me over how beautiful, it is is, silver. The. Beauty of silver, has not only inspired, stunning. Works of art but. It's rich value, is reflected. Throughout the entire country where. This precious, mineral, has created, other booming. Communities. Machuca. Is the grandfather, of the Mexican, silver industry, where, high officials, from Mexico, City would, devote their lives and, their fortunes, to the mines that gave birth to one of Mexico's, first colonial boom, towns. Mining. History is alive and well in Pachuca, thanks. To the efforts of museums, and geologists, like my friend and fellow mineral, dealer Luis Hagen bet he, owns and operates shops. All across Mexico. And help, supply the museum, with specimens, from, all around the world. While. Luis works we. Learned of the geological. Process, that helped to create these specimens, this, is the new volcanic, belt and it's. The volcano. Of Colima the, nevado. De toluca, the. East Elizabeth and Papa gotta battle La. Malinche and the pico, de orizaba this, volcanic, occurrence. That happened, here is where, all the minerals formed, in this section of the country right yes, mostly, and you can also find, gold. And silver near the surface because, of the volcanoes, who have tells them to the surface, this, volcanic, activity. Helped, to create the Mexican, silver belt which. Is the world's most productive silver. District, with an annual production of over 10 billion ounces and, includes. Cities, like Guanajuato. By, the 18th, century, Guanajuato. Had become the world's largest silver, producer, the. Mineral, wealth built impressive. Baroque buildings, crafted. With the same mastery, as the, legendary, silversmiths. I can. Imagine the excitement of the early explorers, when they discovered, silver, but. I can't imagine is. How it must have felt unearthing. This next discovery. Unlike. The famed Egyptian, mummies these, were never in bomb but preserved, by nature. In. This exhibition you can see 66, mummies many. Expression. Of pain in the face of the mummies are natural, for. Example you can see the tongue between. The teeth you. Can see the eyes up, out of the sockets. But. It's natural wow. They're very. Creepy. Looking. This. Mining, town the, arid, climate, the, wooden coffins, and above-ground, crypts. Help create this unique, occurrence. You. Can see a body. Of a miner and, the, man has died for, naturally. She's worth calling psittacosis. Silver. Curse say died because he was doing, so much drilling, right I mean, around breathing me breathe minerals. Yeah and the minerals. Inside their lungs yes. Dry out the body for, that region you can see extremely. Team. Person so there was really a lot of miners, in this area really when Todd yeah, he's the best job. Mexican. Tradition, embraces, both life, and death but the spirit world is also celebrated. In the ornate churches, throughout Guanajuato.
So. This was a fellow's house here huh Antonio, Verdugo al qussair that. Is the owner of the mine and he. Promised, to make the church, you. Know a fellow told me that, when, his daughter got married they. Made a carpet. Or actually a whole. Line of gold, and silver bars he offered it for her to walk on to, the church to get married yeah that's incredible, yeah, yeah you can imagine no hundred. Three, hundred fields. All covered, with bars, of silver and, gold right, no such, a rich time in. The. Valenciana, Church is considered, among the most beautiful, examples, of Baroque architecture in, Central. And South America, with. Its altars, gilded, with gold from, local mines it's. A breathtaking display, of both wealth, and craftsmanship. Representative. Of a town that was once among the most powerful, in all, of New Spain. But. Guanajuato scarm, shows, itself best at night and. Seeing. This historic, town come to life I can, almost imagine its, heyday when the city produced, two-thirds, of the world silver, a lot has changed over, the last few centuries but. Guanajuato retains, its lively, energy, and is the perfect place to sample, another mexican tradition, to Keela my. Niece is stronger yours. Are stronger than mine because dark day so. To me it's really. Incredible, to think that one. Place in the world can produce two-thirds of the world so one, city that's, right and, also, you, know if that is a great example because, we, will see exactly. The same situation, that. Happened, here in Vanuatu. During, the 18th centuries, but right now in Fresno, is, exactly, the. Similar. Case, but, right now in the happening now in this times so. That will give you a bit very. Good give an idea with one whatõs, was, like yeah, right in, that part. Of the history. Whoa. Salute, you. - Bwana Watteau. Maybe. It was the booze for. The warm Mexican, night but. I believe it was the spirit of Guanajuato. That, brought me to my feet in celebration, of a moment flavoured, with the richness of the pass. Many. People, have the wrong impression, of Mexico, while. It does have its dangers, it, also has a beauty, so vivid, in its poetry you. Have to pause and, take. In a verse and. The. Beauty extends, beyond its landscapes. To, its storage cities, with. Their rich histories, and lively, cultures. Cities. Like, Zacatecas. Nestled. In the mountains of central Mexico this. Capital, city once, produced, a fifth of the world's silver, and would, go on to play a crucial, role in the Mexican, Revolution. Cd6. Convent, or the, fund the Franciscans, exemple, begins. And 1567. Founded. Is a Spanish mining camp in the 16th century today. It's, a jewel of the silver belt rich, not only in Mexican, history but. Also important. To the foundation.
Of The United States cities. Now as we known as the his names as the saints San, Francisco, Santa. Barbara San Antonio. Texas, all them Saints came from this place it, knows and they were all founded from here from the families, that came from here that's correct, these storied, Hills would play a crucial role in a, victory for rebel forces against, the central Mexican, government the, Battle of Sackett a kiss of 1914. Is, said to have been the bloodiest battle, of the decade-long, revolution. Over six thousand, people were killed on this very hill dead. Bodies, laying everywhere and the, vicious Pancho. Via was, the one that led the battle. The. Story of this legendary, city is still being written today as the, region continues, to be the world leader and silver production due. In large part to the nearby fresney. Your mind it's. A wonderful, mining, colonial, town it's it's, a great place to be that's great at this area was where mining actually started, right yes architect, no mining is started, in Mexico we, would say that into two main areas no that would be psychotic as in the in the area of Pachuca. Perhaps. Are that the. Two oldest, mining. Places, Moore and, silver has always been the, mechanic. Symbol. Of Mexico, and the, connect symbol of Zacatecas I could take us is the largest state. In Mexico producing. Silver. Ore it's. At the same time is the largest state. I. Would, say worldwide, producing, that silver, Wow, because of the abundance, of silver, in the region, Zacatecas. Is a great place to look for crystallized, silver, and I have a tip on an old collection. La, Casa tengo algunas otras. Como. Happiness estoy tratando. De. La rocca, crystallized. Silver, has become harder to find his, mines are cracking, down on its removal, these, specimens, have been swept, up or overlooked, in the industrial, process. The. The crystals are broken right here yeah. But right now. That kind of, makes. It a tough sell for a collector, yeah. It's. Not always what you're looking for but, which you find along the way I. Like. To use. What. I like about this lot of Mexican, amethyst, are the large clear, deep, colored crystals, and matrix. But. I don't think he's gonna part with them easily.
We. Can do here. Many. Dealers, keep their best stuff at home once. The dealer knows you're serious. You can oftentimes get, access to his private collection and hopefully, at a stellar piece or two to sweeten the deal. It. Was definitely, an impressive, collection but. Like many collectors, there, were some pieces he just wouldn't part with, I'll. Say but this is. Si. Muy bonito super, super, see. Quantity. Quantal of in this no, is he a. Same. Time I stopped in town nice. SK. Just a local, good. Tambien, good. But. I did find a few pieces of crystallized. Silver, that caught my eye although crystal, Nestle's. Or, a contagious. ESO. Some, emil. Pesos, for water, polo tres. Tamia, Rory, mr.. Paley. In, their SOC, compressors, in those mill pesos, where, even dead Lama teesta and cinco, mil office. She's. Making it just. Also look a quit. The. Ambien movie, okay. H. I. Was. Happy with the by but, an even better deal was, the opportunity to see inside the world's, largest producing. Silver mine. Located. About 40, miles outside of Zacatecas. Pres, neo has been producing, silver, for centuries. Operated. By Pan yoli's a Mexico. City based company, it is one of the world's most profitable mines, and a major source, of employment, for the city and with, soccer fields, and animal sanctuary and, public parks and yoli's, is committed, to helping support, the community, in many ways, while. The view from above was terrific I was, anxious to see the city from below. This. Is by far the largest mind I've ever explored, and, Alejandra, was guiding us deep into Mexico's, silver history, we're, going to level 720. Which, is 720. Meters well. Over 2,000. Feet below, the surface. It. Felt like something out of a sci-fi movie with. All the machinery, and a sense of life buzzing, through an uninhabitable. World, in. These dark humid. And wet surroundings. The best fashion is safety from. The headlamps, down to the rubber boots, we're. About to see the Jumbos operate, what they do is they drill holes into, the rock so, that they can put explosives. In it that. Helps do their exploration. And further, make more of these tunnels and take, out the silver metal the, Jumbo is a real monster of a machine to see in action I got, to take it on an exhilarating, test run. Now, the work that they do here, is done, looking, for veins the. Veins are, the thickest, concentration. Of the, mineral silver what, they'll try to do is they'll try to follow those veins and get as much silver out as that they can now. Down here is the, silver vein you, can see it running it at a diagonal, angle we're, in a very rich area of the mind an area that's just loaded, with silver, silver. The most conductive, of all metals is used in almost all electronics. Everything, from, solar panels and x-rays to, computers, and cellphones, but. I wanted to find silver, in its crystalline, form. We're. Looking for crystallized. Silver, now different. Types of silver minerals and I'm with Carlos, and Lupita. And we're in the San Carlos vein and, hopefully. We're gonna have some good luck. Carlos. This is going off what does that mean. These. Schools 60, it's. Tell. Me know that those have but they don't. Explode it's better. In here just, know we are we all gonna die no, no okay, that's. Good until, just. A warning yes just a wink that's because Lupita, are you scared you get your mask on, should I have a mask on yeah all I should okay. Once. The gases had cleared we continued, our search in this newly formed, tunnel. Looks. Like we found the little pocket, up here which has quartz, and calcite and, some. Crystallized, silver, in it. Unfortunately. We're not going to be able to get up to it here this afternoon but. I'll show you what some looks like out of the pocket. A lot. Of people don't realize that silver. Will also, come in a crystal, form and they're, very sought-after by collectors louise. These are some really nice pieces of crystallized, silver, or silver minerals, and these, are actually argent, tights right, yeah those right there adjust his mold pieces, you could really see the crystal, structure, of them really nicely this.
One Here is kind of like a cubic. Right that buddy said most common, way that the urging type can, grow so. Collectors, usually. Look for like the, most aesthetic. Types, of crystals, the, ones that have the nicest form, and there are really the prettiest to the eyes I've learned a lot on this trip actually, and it's been a lot of fun you have to be in one, of the richest, silver mines all over the world and, the biggest producers, of Gilbert so you get a lot of the information you learn a lot when you get that experience yeah. All. Minerals, have a story, and the, story of silver, can't be told without including, the rich heritage of Mexico, from. The colonial cities, that build new worlds, to the modern mining towns that supply the world's, industrial needs the. Search for silver, has inspired, collectors, around the globe to save the fragments, of nature's art and with. Each piece the, legacy of historic, lands, are preserved. If. You want to see more episodes or. Check out our mineral collection click, the link in the description, and of, course like, and subscribe to our Channel, thanks. For watching and we'll see you next time, on mineral. Explorers.