The Eye Of The Beholder

I got a fantastic facet-grade Gladstone smoky quartz crystal from Richard at the Zeehan Rock Shop.

Gladstone champagne-coloured smoky quartz crystal

The aim was to create something big, interesting and unique. Now, the crystal was already just that in its natural state, so I decided to try and preserve some of what made it so nice already, while at the same time exposing some of its other beautiful features. One of the neat properties of the crystal is the well-formed hexagonal cross-section, I decided to preserve this natural six-sided prism shape whilst still using faceting techniques to add something extra – in an optical sense.

Showing scale, Zeehan in background!

I wanted to ultimately cut two stones out of the crystal, so I sliced it neatly – almost in half. The crystal termination (or pointy end) made for a good natural preform for a pavilion.

I chose a hexagonal cut for the pavilion facet component, “Hard Roku” by Marco Voltolini.

Hard Roku faceting design to be used.

So, I created the pavilion according to the angles of the Hard Roku design above, with an interesting transition from polished facet to dimpled natural crystal face. The natural but imperfect hexagonal crystal shape meant that the faceting is not exactly symmetrical, but I like that – and I think it works.

Natural slightly water-worn hexagonal crystal faces still visible on the side
I called  it “The Eye Of The Beholder

That big round facet up front took hours to polish. The effect is mesmerising, like a natural kaleidoscope – at the right angle you get the ability to look far into the optical and crystallographic axis of the crystal, in fact an illusion is created where you appear to be seeing further than the length of the stone itself, into what eerily resembles an eye. Note that it is very hard to capture this effect in a photograph, however.

The rim is frosted and light from the back facets projects onto it.

The Eye Of The Beholder (side)

The stone came in at about 48 grams, and 40mm across the flats at the widest dimension.

Video above courtesy of the Zeehan Rock Shop.