In whatever shape or form they take, crystals are certainly wonders of the natural world. Most of the crystal forms we see on a daily basis are specimens that can be held in the palm of the hand or that are in the form of jewellery. Natural crystals grow and form all over the world and new discoveries are being made all the time – but rarely do we hear about them. For this reason we have gathered together for you what we consider to be the world’s most spectacular crystal wonders. We’re certain you’ll be amazed!
The Cave of the Crystals, Mexico
Quite possibly the most stunning crystal-related discovery in recent years is a cave in Mexico that has come to be called Cueva de los Cristales or ‘The Cave of the Crystals‘. The cave was discovered in 2000 by miners in the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. The chamber is practically choked by gigantic selenite crystals, including one 36 feet in length, 13 feet in diameter and 55 tonnes in weight!
The crystals have grown over the centuries as haphazard pillars that criss-cross and interlock. Due to extreme heat within the cave, explorers can only survive for a maximum of ten minutes without breathing equipment. These magnificent crystals grew to these great sizes after a magma chamber below the cave heated groundwater, saturating it with minerals. The steady temperature within the cave allowed the minerals (including gypsum) to grow.
World’s Largest Amethyst Geode
At eleven feet tall and weighing two and a half tonnes, the stunningly beautiful Empress of Uruguay is the world’s biggest Amethyst Geode. Discovered in Uruguay and now to be found in the Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, Australia, this geode has become a great tourist attraction.
The Empress sees hundreds of fascinated tourists and crystal enthusiasts posing next to it for photographs each month. The geode boasts tens of thousands perfect, deep Purple Amethyst crystals that give off radiant sparkle and a wondrous purple glow.
Biggest Crystal Ever Found
If this upload on YouTube is to be believed, this is the biggest clear quartz crystal ever found. It is certainly one of the biggest, which can clearly be seen by comparing the size of the specimen to its mesmerized onlookers! At 661 pounds, this crystal, located in Swaziland, has been dated as being 16 million years old.
It features many pointed shafts that thrust in different directions and catch the light in fascinating ways. As impressive as this is, much larger specimens of Quartz crystal have been found in Arkansas that have sold for millions of dollars.
Mount Ida Crystals, Arkansas
Mount Ida in west Arkansas is called the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World. It is within the forty acres of the Wegner Crystal Mines that Clear Quartz crystals can be found in abundance.
The mines are not the deep, dark mines that most people envision but rather open pit surface mines where crystals can be found in clay pockets along Quartz veins. Mount Ida is known for their annual Quartz, Craftz, & Quiltz Festival and World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig in October.
With a remarkable iridescence and angled geometry, bismuth crystals are rarely seen in nature. When it crystallizes it creates wonderful stepped ‘hopper crystal’ formations that are intricate and unique to every specimen.
The fantastic array of colours on Bismuth crystals occurs in a similar fashion to those on a soap bubble or oil on water, where reflected light creates the myriad of hues. Bismuth has been known since ancient times, and has the atomic number 83 on the Periodic Table.