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page 34 of the online mineral museum: around the world in quartz

2011-12-13 - 8:24 a.m.

© 2011 by elaine radford

Yesterday we took a spin around the amazingly varied world of Arkansas Quartz. But it can't be all Arkansas, all the time, can it? Today, I'll inspect a few specimens from other localities.

Brazil, "Paradise of Gemstones," as one of my gem and mineral books would have it, is the happy hunting ground for many a fine quartz specimen. Just on this shelf, I have four interesting examples that I picked up at the gem shows in the early to mid 1990s.

This large, overflowing the fist sized specimen of Smoky Quartz is a true enhydros/elestial. When we purchased it in 1995, it had a large water drop trapped inside of it. Now I can't find it. I wonder if there was a pinpoint leak that allowed the water to seep out or if I have just forgotten where to look in the somewhat intricately patterned stone.

Citrine -- golden Quartz crystals! I believe that these Citrine clusters from Brazil are heat-treated to deepen the rich orange color.

These two specimens of "Landscape" Quartz from Brazil have been cut and polished to form these fine, upstanding obelisks. Probably the otherwise fine material had chips or damage to the points, but labor was cheap in Brazil in those days, and they re-cut the stone to show off the inclusions. Which do you prefer? The tall guy with the "moss" inside or the short guy with the banded phantoms?

This long, thin natural rock Quartz crystal wand is from Madagascar.

Probably every American or metaphysical collection of Quartz crystals should have a so-called Herkimer "diamond." This classic double-terminated Quartz from Herkimer, New York can be beautifully crystal clear in the smaller, earring sizes -- or it can be a bubble of inclusions and fascinating rainbows in the larger sizes. I bought a bunch for re-sale in 1990 and just held back these three for my personal collection:

Trying to photograph the rainbows is a bear, but they're magical in person, and it's easy to understand why so many New Age/tarot shops have a Herkimer "diamond" or two hidden around the place.

My very best Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada amethyst point is not held in the mineral collection. Instead, it is kept in the bird room, for reasons I've explained elsewhere. I've held this second large specimen as a cabinet piece but if I get into stone carving/re-shaping of larger stones, then I may seriously consider doing some carving of this deep purple but imperfect over-sized crystal.

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