Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Rock crystal [G3957]

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Rock crystal (G3957) from the National Gem Collection

Photograph of a faceted quartz egg (G3957) from the National Gem Collection with purple backdrop


Photo by Chip Clark


Hover over color tiles above to learn what this object tells us about the history of the Earth

Catalog #MineralCountryWeight 
G3957Quartz (var. Rock crystal)Brazil More info »
G3957 (Rock crystal) was obtained in an exchange with J. Sinkankas in 1964. Made by John Sinkankas.

About this object

This 7,478 carat faceted (240 facets) quartz egg, created by John Sinkankas, originated in Brazil.  The metal base is set with 16 small and 4 larger sapphires.  Under ideal conditions, in spacious cavities or other openings in rock, quartz crystals can grow impressively large, sometimes weighing several tons.  Clear colorless quartz, called rock crystal, is the most common gem mineral.  Most commonly, rock crystal is used for carvings, chandeliers, and crystal balls. This quartz egg is an outstanding example of the gem cutter’s art and is the largest faceted quartz in the National Gem Collection.

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