Penas Blancas mine, Vasquez-Yacopi Dist.,
Boyaca Dept., Colombia
45 cm tall x 7.6 cm wide
At least 12% of the earth's crust is quartz, making it one of the most common minerals. Quartz has played many roles throughout history. In the first century Pliny the Elder believed quartz was permanently frozen water (the word crystal comes from the Greek word for ice). In 1880 the Curie's discovered the piezoelectric properties of quartz. Today quartz is part of our daily lives.
Crystals as large and perfect as this one are extraordinarily scarce. For a quartz crystal 45 cm long to maintain nearly flawless growth with clarity from the very base to the termination is the rarest of all. The conditions deep within the earth would have had to be stable for hundreds of millions of years. Changes in temperature or pressure, earthquakes or tremors, even the discovery process could have caused this breathtaking crystal to develop internal flaws or cracks. This crystal sits among the few that we can think of as unrivaled, matchless in its purity.