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The Crystal Caves
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Geological Rarity
Spaghetti Geode

A new ‘classification’ has been found in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. And René Boissevain has bought it home to Australia. A Geode expected to be filled with Amethyst instead contains delicate stalactite-like quartz crystal, finely dusted with microscopic druzy quartz. Buried for millions of years in solid basalt, the precise explanation for the bizarre formation is unknown. ‘Classification’ is the term used for a new variation of a mineralogical formation. In an industry where most variations have already been classified, a new finding is very rare. In the basalt fields and mountains in Irai, Rio Grande do Sul, Nilton and his brother have been mining Amethyst Geodes for many years. Most of their findings go to wholesalers in Rio de Janeiro or other big cities in Brazil where museum curators and businessmen from all over the world come to buy their wares. Some adventurous buyers go direct to the mine and linger anxiously, sometimes for weeks, in the hope of getting first option on a unique piece. René, a return buyer to the mine, saw the piece, which had been mined from the hard surrounding basalt earlier in the week. “How much is that one?” René anxiously asked when he saw the spectacular geode. The price tag was substantial, but it was explained that the specimen was as good as sold, designated to a Japanese buyer who would be back on Monday. He needed confirmation from head-office. “I’ll give you confirmation and the money right here, right now!” René said. The two brothers discussed it and agreed to sell the piece to René. “When you look into the geode”, René explains, “you wish you could make yourself small and you could wander through it like in a fairytale, so delicate are the crystals” Not to be confused with a typical ‘rockshop’, The Crystal Caves Museum displays the most spectacular collection of crystallised mineral specimens from around the world. A member of Museums Australia and Museums Queensland the collection in the museum continues to grow as René continues to travel the world in search of the very unique. So too, did René in1998 and obtained a set of fossilised dinosaur eggs from Green Dragon Mountain Hubei Provence in Mongolia. In keeping with the museums ‘welcome to touch’ policy, René purchased another ‘undeveloped’ natural Dinosaur egg ,for children to hold and investigate, and to have their picture taken with.

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