Smoky Quartz (closed Gwindel) on Granite
Obere Bielenluecke, Furka, Uri, Switzerland
Small Cabinet, 8.4 x 7.0 x 5.9 cm
Ex. Brent Lockhart
$7,000.00 Payment Plan Available
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This is a very special example of the style most famous and desirable from the Swiss Alps, of Gwindel quartz, because it has the unusual composition of having a closed gwindel crystal in stark juxtaposition and contrast to regular prismatic smoky quartz crystals that surround it. (Gwindel means "twisted" in German - and these are simply put, a weird style of quartz that seems to form at very high temperature underground in what are today the high Alpine deposits at the tops of the mountains that are the backbones of continents). The gwindel crystal here is of the closed variety, where the tips look more smooth and less serrated than in the open variety of this rare style (more on this technical difference elsewhere in the update, but again that is the simplest way to look at the different shapes of closed and open gwindels). The result is a quartz crystal of strange shape, excellent gemminess, and strange-looking side faces that sometimes look carved to be smooth and more simple in appearance than a "regular " crystal, but are entirely natural! The Gwindel here is a gem, literally transparent and read-through in clarity. It measures 2 inches (5 cm) across. So, we have a pristine, gemmy, transparent, gorgeous gwindel associated with regular quartz, but what really takes this piece to the next level is that the cluster is perched on granite matrix, itself nicely trimmed and in balance. Rarely, do these survive extraction and mining, even if they are found on matrix to begin with. Remember, these are hundreds of millions of years old and formed somehow when the Alps were not the Alps yet, and survived all this time - is it any wonder there are so few on matrix? The Lockhart collection has several impressive gwindels, that are similarly important not only for the crystal quality but for preserving the matrix in association. We simply do not see that often enough, and for some reason the closed-type gwindels are even more rarely seen on matrix. This specimen was purchased directly from Swiss dealership Siber & Siber in 2016, from a summer 2016 discovery that they helped bring to market. Brent Lockhart was the first owner of this fine piece. An excellent summary of the more technical aspects of gwindels can be found here: