This large grape amethyst has beautiful form and some isolation of amethyst balls. The piece is a bit like a curtain, with amethyst balls all around, on both sides. The colour is a nice middle lavender, and the amethyst balls across the top are of the sparkling habit, with great lustre. In excellent condition, particularly for its size – one can find minor incomplete balls if one searches for them, but they are insignificant relative to the overall specimen. A super, sculptural cabinet specimen – just gorgeous.
About These Indonesian “Grape Amethyst” Specimens
Originally referred to as “grape agate”, specimens were first found in the Mamuju area in 2015. These specimens are recovered from clay, in the spaces between the “pillows” in pillow lava. Although they were first known as “grape agate”, they are not cryptocrystalline (and therefore are not agate) – they are balls of radiating crystalline quartz. When the find first came to market, there was a large amount of material, much of which was poor quality. With the passage of time, the diggers began to produce higher quality specimens. The recent article on this material in the Mineralogical Record (Nov-Dec. 2018) observes that the production of fine specimens is beginning to decline, although there are still a few very active teams working the deposits. The article speculates, based upon local sources, that all specimen mining of the pillow lava deposits will likely cease within the next three to four years. As with all mineral specimen localities, the ultimate accuracy of such speculation varies. In this case, the limited geographical extent of the known pillow lava deposits is a key factor.