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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Rock Crystal Quartz Egg

Photograph of a faceted quartz egg (NMNH G3957) from the National Gem Collection with purple backdrop
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G3957-00
Locality Brazil
Weight 7,000 ct

Obtained in an exchange in 1964.

This 7,478ct faceted (240 facets) quartz egg, created by John Sinkankas, originated in Brazil. The metal base is set with 16 small and four 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. 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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