03 July 2013

"La Madona Rosa"

A very unusual crystal specimen (avra Berilo Branco, Sapucaia do Norte, Galiléia, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil) sold by Heritage Auctions in June of 2013:
La Madona Rosa (the Pink Madonna) is an exceptionally large and beautiful specimen of Rose and Smoky Quartz bearing a strong resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary...

In late 1950s, miners working this small mine in Brazil, found a miraculous pocket of Rose Quartz: although only six inches (10-16 cm) wide and 12 inches (32 cm) high, the pocket extended for an amazing 16 feet (5 meters). It was filled with deep pink Quartz crystals draped sinuously over golden Smoky Quartz. The miners at Sapucaia (the mine's informal name because of its proximity to that town) had hit pay dirt: Rose Quartz crystals had never been seen before this discovery. Subsequent finds in Brazil also yielded Rose Quartz specimens (notably Lavra da Ilha and Alto da Pitora) but none approached the sheer size and beauty of the specimens from Lavra Berilo Branco - they are the "gold standard" for Rose Quartz. The most famous specimen from this historic find is The Van Allen Belt which currently resides in the Smithsonian.
Take a wild guess what this 15-inch high specimen sold for at auction.  No, higher... Answer below the fold...

Photo via.


  1. Great specimen. I wish they had made available some close-up pictures of it.

  2. Amazing creation of our planet's geology! Don't you wish we could understand the physics of how it, and other such astoundingly beautiful crystalline rocks, came to be? And these particular crystals are found in only Brazil, just one place on our whole planet?

    1. ?

      The growth of crystals is well understood, and they seem pretty certain what metallic contaminants are responsible for the rose color.

      As to only in Brazil, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_is_rose_quartz_found.

  3. "Strong resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary" says a lot about humankind's deeply embedded pattern recognition capabilities that not infrequently lead us astray (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=patternicity-finding-meaningful-patterns). I see a kitty =-)

  4. Another nice specimen from the same mine, although much smaller in size:


    this one looks mostly like an icecream cone (I suppose another deeply embeded pattern ready to lead humans astray)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...