Quartz var. Amethyst
Mamuju, Sulawesi Barat Prov., Sulawesi, Indonesia
Cabinet, 12.5 x 8.5 x 4.8 cm

This sculptural, purple "Grape Agate" piece is from the earlier exports of the relatively recent finds on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia in 2017-2018. These are know known to be true Amethyst, as they meet all the parameters for true amethyst (crystal structure internally, coloration source, and chemistry), and are not chalcedony or agate as first thought and as you so often see them for sale in lesser quality on ebay and other sites. While common in quantity, the best are not common at all and had to be mined at substantial depth below the weathering layers in very hard, difficult to dig, lava fields. This is fabulous display piece, NOT a decorator piece as the vast majority of these are. Hundreds of perfectly formed, purple spheres grace this very three dimensional piece in its entirety. The size of the spheres vary between 2 and 7 mm with most consistently averaging around 5 mm which is an exception for these as most are average around 3 mm. This is an exceptional specimen for many reasons: its color saturation, satin luster, shapely form with isolated "balls" and lack of damage. Although literally tons of material has been mined from here, very few specimens are "worthy" of a sophisticated collector as more than just representative. It's a very aerial piece on its own and even the delicately mounded and stacked spheres have a unique three dimensionality to them. There is a white sliver of matrix near the bottom that adds contrast. This is a lovely display piece that belongs in a fine mineral collection, as opposed to just being a decorative "purple Quartz" like most of the rest. Complete all around, 360. While these originally came out to market as agate/chalcedony, they were later analyzed by Dr. George Rossman at CalTech and determined to be amethyst. More info on page 101-102 of the Journal of Gemmology: