6.3" Polished Banded Agate Skull with Amethyst Crystal Pocket
This is a gorgeous, 6.3" long, polished agate skull that contains an amethyst crystal encrusted cavity at the top of the skull. This specimen has undergone intricate sculpting and polishing that left the crystal in the shape of a skull.
Agate is a variety of microcrystalline quartz (chalcedony) that displays translucence and in some cases banding. Agate primarily forms when silica-rich fluids fill pockets within rock and/or fossils, resulting in deposition of the silica along the walls of the rock. This process can result in banding patterns as the composition and impurities of the fluids change over time. These banding patterns can either form as flat layers or rounded layers, depending on the surfaces available for deposition.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) and owes its violet color to natural irradiation, iron impurities, and the presence of trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. It’s considered a semi-precious gemstone, and just two centuries ago was considered to have a value on par with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. The largest and best known amethyst deposits occur in southern Brazil and Uruguay but many localities around the world produce an amazing variety of amethyst crystals and formations.
Silicon Dioxide, also known as SiO2 or Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich, hot watery solutions called hydrothermal environments, at temperatures between 100°C and 450°C, and usually under very high pressure. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountains forming, and can be hundreds of millions of years old.