OH MY!! That's what I said when I finished this one and could see it glisten in the sun! This is one of the larger and more impressive of these gorgeous pieces I've finished this year! It took several years, but I finally tracked down the lone mine owner that was producing these amazing Uruguay amethyst stalactite slices. After I explained how I would re-polish these stones, he showed me a stash of virtually perfect, beautifully colored collector pieces that he offered me for my work. I couldn't believe how gorgeous they were, and of course I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. This slab is one of my favorites with nice light purple amethyst crystal points framing a beautiful agate and citrine center. The center really does look like you're gazing into a flower blossom and the stone is just astonishingly pretty framed by those glistening purple crystals! The crystals are a nicely saturated violet purple color and have great, sparkling facets. The stalactite slice appears to be completely intact with all of the purple crystals present all the way around the perimeter. This is certainly among the most dramatic "flower like" natural treasures I've ever seen cut from one of the most intricately detailed, largest, very nice amethyst colored crystal formations I've ever seen! How about a stone that LOOKS like a real flower!
I found a supplier in Tucson this year that had one of the single most beautiful crystal formations I'd seen in ages. Apparently some of the Uruguay amethyst miners figured out that if you cut the crystal stalactites that form in some of the amethyst veins that they would reveal lovely agate patterns inside the formation. The net result is an agate slice that is studded with 100% naturally formed amethyst crystals all the way around it! They had them priced fairly high for a wholesale show, and I think the dealer had them targeted at the jewelry makers (there were some lovely pendants made from these on display as examples) so I initially passed them up on opening day, but that night it got to me and I kept picturing these gorgeous, richly colored marvels and decided I had to get some. I searched through several other importers but all of them had lower grade materials with pale amethyst (if indeed they had amethyst at all). This fellow had top grade specimens with the most intense, grape jelly like purple amethyst crystals you could hope for. I decided shelling out for quality was a good strategy and I hope you will agree!
Most of the amethyst crystals and churches you see are from Brazil, and there are some really fine specimens from that country, but this material comes from another South American country, Uruguay. The color in many is very close to Smucker's Grape Jelly, though this one has a paler shade of amethyst. The crystals are also astonishingly sharp and clean and glisten like thousands of tiny mirrored surfaces. The agate display in the center varies from stone to stone. Some of them are clear and translucent, while others more opaque, but they are all gorgeous. This one has the most flower like pattern of any at the show. Some of the specimens had sander marks and other problems that the cheap import finishes are notorious for. We brought them home and reworked the poor quality polish (a typical problem with most imported stones) to produce a true collector piece. While other dealers undoubtedly sell these stones with the poor quality import finish complete with sander marks and a dull, lifeless shine, only the the Sticks-in-Stones Rockshop can offer our unbeatable collector grade finish!
If you are new to stone collecting or aren't familiar with amethyst, gem crystals are sold using the same criteria as other crystal based gemstones such as ruby, sapphire, diamond, emerald, etc. The color, size and clarity are what matter. The better the color, the faster the price rises. You can easily find inexpensive amethyst crystal clusters right here on eBay, but if you haven't had the chance to admire a really high grade specimen with dark, rich color, you should check out this piece. We work hard to get realistic, accurate images of our products so you can buy with confidence - that color is as deep and rich as it appears in the photo!
This one is much larger than typical of the size range for these gem crystals and could be made into a pendant as well as used as a display piece.
It measures right at 2 3/4" across the polished face and is sliced about 0.26" thick. Weight is 0.12 lbs.