Quartz veins cutting volcanic rocks high in the mountains near Las Vigas de Ramirez have produced some of the world’s finest amethyst crystals. These specimens, featuring single or, more commonly, divergent clusters of crystals on quartz matrix are distinguished by the fact that they exhibit an elongate prismatic habit rather than the squat or stout shape normally observed in amethyst. The best of the Las Vigas amethyst consists of divergent groups of lustrous, deep purple crystals attractively contrasted against a green epidote dusted matrix.
This material was first brought to the attention of the Ontiveros family in the mid-1960s. Two of the brothers then made visits to the area in the late 1960s and 1970s to obtain specimens for the market. Steve Green was the next major player on the scene, having been responsible for bringing many fine lots of specimens to the Tucson, Denver and Munich shows in the early 1980s.
Production seems to have dropped in the last decade and good new specimens are scarce. Fine specimens from earlier finds are quickly snapped up by connoisseurs.
Mun. Las Vigas de Ramírez (Mun. de Profesor Rafael Ramírez), Veracruz, Mexico
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