In the mineral kingdom there are hierarchies, not all of them actually correct. But when it comes to smoky quartz there is one rule, one agreed upon truth: Swiss smoky quartz is the benchmark for which all other smoky quartz is measured. Swiss smoky quartz is akin to Swiss watchmaking—basically unchallenged. Pink fluorite on smoky quartz is one of the most sought after mineral combinations. The very finest comes from the Swiss and French Alps. Most of these are found with only partial quartz crystals and fluorites in clusters.
This piece has an elegance and stature that very few achieve. Two large isolated pink octahedrons are precariously attached to a gem quality large smoky quartz crystal. The ultimate minimalist perfection. This example is among the world's finest. The actual scale of the piece is difficult to understand from a photo. The quartz measures nearly one foot tall (28.5 cm). This specimen comes from the same area where the most famous of all Swiss Alpine pockets was discovered in 1868. Those crystals are now in the Bern Natural History Museum.