|Smoky Quartz With a Halo of Pink Rose Quartz. |
Rose Quartz: "La Madona Rosa"
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This sparkling beauty stands 15.5 inches (39 cm) tall, taller than other known rose quartz specimens. Quarz is made from silica, and titanium, manganese or iron lend rose quartz its pink hue. Smoky quartz's color comes from free silicon in the mineral.
Examination of La Madona Rosa's features leads to the conclusion that, in all likelihood it came from the original "Sapucaia" (Lavra Berilo Branco) discovery. But attempts to pin down the history of this particular specimen break down at a certain point. Some opine that it was produced during the original discovery of 1959 and remained hidden for decades in the collection of a Brazilian gentleman before emerging to the notice of the outside world. Another account states that it was "discovered" in Brazil in 1972 (the mine had been in sporadic operation until 1973). Whatever its origin, it was acquired by a London gemstone collector in 1972. It was sold in 1977 to a U.S. gem collector and resided in that collection for twenty years --- its significance unrecognized for decades.
The mineral takes its name from the fact that its shape resembles traditional Catholic depictions of the Madonna. It sold for $662,500, due to its incredible rarity alongside its own fascinating back-story.