Diamond Willow Mine, McTavish Township, Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada

Dimensions (H x W x D)

6.5 x 14 x 9 cm


715 g

Description & Provenance

Quartz is incredibly prolific and can be found in nearly every corner of the earth. Despite its abundance, it can vary significantly from locality to locality and look so vastly different, even a suite full of quartz can be incredibly diverse. This highly aesthetic specimen is one such example. It comes from the Diamond Willow Mine of Canada. It is an example of “eisenkiesel” or “ferruginous quartz,” synonymous names for quartz that are colored orange, yellow, brown, or red due to iron inclusions such as limonite or hematite. Even among them, specimens vary significantly in their colors and degree of luster. This is a cabinet-sized, compact cluster of several dozen, densely packed quartz crystals with sharp, peaked terminations. The aggregate bears an uncanny likeness to that of a hedgehog. Adding to this, the crystals are totally opaque and exhibit a very unusual, cinnamon coloration. These features are a result of hematite inclusions that almost completely coat an earlier phase of amethyst growth. Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz that gets its color from impurities of iron. At the bottom of this piece, one can the amethyst peeking through. Even more amazing to see is its completely purple and translucent underside! The degree to which an iron outer layer
coats crystals varies quite a bit between specimens, but in this example, it is impressively consistent and complete. In addition to the intriguing morphology and color, the crystals have an intense, glossy luster that is absolutely superb. It punctuates the crystals’ sharp form and pristine condition. Unfortunately, the vugs where these specimens were collected were already collapsed by time they were discovered, greatly limiting the number of intact, quality examples. For this reason, excellent specimens such as this are uncommon and hard to obtain, making this a great collector’s piece and a modern classic.

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