spaces were trapped beneath the crust of the earths surface. Inside these cavities molecules and
ground water slowly permeating the cavity. As the lava began to cool and the gas bubbles began to
rise to the surface they became trapped and formed into geodes. Manganese and Iron are the 2 main
minerals that make up the color of Amethyst on the inside as the outside shell has the formation of
Agate. These geodes being totally surrounded by basalt a very hard rock.
In Southern Brazil enormous basalt fields and mountains were formed by volcanic activity approx. 130
million years ago. In the Ametista do Sul area, Rio Grande do Sul, region of Brazil is very special as
this environment allowed the cavities to be filled with Iron & Manganese to form the Beautiful deep
purple tones of Amethyst.
|Origin of Cathedral / Geodes
The basalt is so hard that dynamite has to be used to open a cavity, as small caves are formed and the
harder material is removed by machinery. It is a long and tedious process to burrow a cave. The geodes are
30 people can work inside a cave for extraction Below you can see some of the cave openings in the basalt.
Below you can see the geodes formed into the walls, as sometimes it takes a worker a full day to extract one
geode, if it is very large it can take up to a week to remove it safely. Usually a small hole is driiled into the geode
to verify the quality of the Crystal as they insert a small lighted scope.
Once the geodes are extracted they are brought back to the factory as you can see below. Here is
were they are cut in halve and outside edges polished. In the other photos it shows the cleaning
procedures that the geodes go through
Above photos show the slow process of cutting the geodes in halve
|Photos show the washing process of the geodes
Below are some photos of an Amethyst mine in Bahia, Northern Brazil
The workers slowly tunnel there way into the cavity
|Both of these photos show the
embedded into the rock
|factory for processing of cutting