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Quartz, Austria

Posted by Harjo Neutkens  
avatar Quartz, Austria
November 29, 2010 10:00PM
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SiO2 trigonal

Austrian perfection, Ziller valley Amethyst, found by Gerhard and Hannes Hofer

Amethyst from the Saurüssel, 10x10cm. Great find from the Hofer brothers© Martin Gruell

A "Stoasuacha" and his treasure

Reinhold Bacher with the largest Quartz ever found in the Lungau area© Martin Gruell

A "Stoasuacha" in her preferred habitat

Petra Morolz inside a Rock Crystal cleft in the Ankogel group© R. Purat

Quartz from Austria

Austria covers a major part of the Eastern Alps, an area of outstanding beauty and of great interest geologically and mineralogically.
Since ages the people from Austria have been collecting minerals, mainly Quartz. The so called "Stoasuacha" (rock searchers) were usually farmers or herds who looked for crystals when herding the flock high up the alps during the summer. They would sell them to collectors or cutters in order to get through the long winters.
Collecting Quartz is a way of life for the "Stoasuacha", when the first snow melts in spring they get up in the mountains, sometimes for days on end. They "read" the geology and look for signs that may tell them where a cleft is hidden.
The moment of finding a cleft in the Alps is one that you will never forget, the first sight into a pocket full of crystals, closed since millions of years.
There are many fantastic local collections in Austria, some of them resemble a museum, and some of them are open for public.
It is still possible to find good specimens in the Austrian Alps although one has to climb high, work hard and have a large portion of luck.
Many of the local "Stoasuacha" sell specimens on shows and from their homes. Be prepared to pay a considerable price for a good specimen....

To describe Austrian Quartz finds in an introductory text is a mission impossible. Many outstanding finds have been made during the ages: giant smoky Quartzes, huge and perfect Rock Crystals, exquisite Amethyst sceptres and so on and so on.......especially in the mountauns of the Hohe Tauern, covering large parts of Salzburg, Carinthia and Tyrol.
Some remarkable Quartz finds should however be mentioned here shortly (they will be described in more detail in the text under the locality entries)
In 1934 Alois Steiner sen. and Hubert Prossegger found a cleft on Breitkopf mountain containing 500kg of the finest quality Morion crystals. In 1965 Peter Meilinger and Hans Hofer found huge Quartz crystals in the icy Eiskögele north face. crystals weighing up to 618kg!
The famous Kandutsch clefts; the Eiskluft and the Morionkluft, both on Hocharn mountain, where Georg Kandutsch found spectacular Quartz specimens, sometimes under very extreme conditions! And the "Kristalkeller" on Ankogel mountain. A huge cleft delivering over 2000kg of Quartz crystals.
And of course the famous Wiesbachrinne find made by Lois and Andy Steiner, Morion crystals as perfect as they are dark. Andy Steiners "Skeletquarze" (sceletonquartz), bizarrely etched crystals over 1m large, should also be mentioned. Alfred Aichberger found the largest smoky Quartz of the eastern Alps in the Sattelkar, 203kg, water clear and coffee brown. The largest Amethyst of the Eastern Alps was found by Kurt Novak in the Saurüssel, 1985. In 1972 a true Quartz bonanza happened after the discovery of large Quartzes in Obergösel. Finally I'd like to mention the finds of the Hofer brothers, Hannes and Gerhard. They found amazing Amethysts in the Saurüssel (one of them is pictured above in the introduction photo), in my opinion the most beautiful Amethyst ever found in the Alps. In 2009 they found a spectacular large cross shaped Quartz specimen in the Eiskögele north face, near the Meilinger-Hofer cleft from 1965.

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern Mts, Ankogel group

Quartz Grauleiten 15cm©
Quartz Schwarzkopf 21cm© Rudo

Opening a cleft in the Ankogel group

Working a cleft pic.1© R. Purat
Working a cleft pic.2© R. Purat

Working a cleft pic.3© R. Purat
Working a cleft pic.4© R. Purat

Working a cleft pic.5 The result: A perfect Rock Crystal from the Ankogel group, 31x25cm© Rudo

On pic.1 we have a first look inside the freshly opened large Alpine cleft. Rock Crystals can be seen on the left side pocket wall.
On pic.2 the lucky finder can see two fabulous surfaces of a large Rock Crystal. At this moment the finder is worried a lot because he does not know yet whether the top of the crystal is undamaged or not.
On pic.3 the finder carefully tries to take away the surrounding crystals and pieces of rock hoping that the huge Rock Crystal, which is not fixed to the cleft ceiling any more, is undamaged. Luckily the crystal must have broken off the ceiling quite some time ago.
On pic.4 the finder of the crystal can hear his heart pounding heavily because he now realizes that he has found something really special. The 30 cm long and about 25 cm thick crystal seems appears to be undamaged and is of gorgeous quality.
On pic.5 we see the result, a completely undamaged perfect Rock Crystal.

Dösenbach valley, Ankogel group

Quartz Dösenbach 18cm© Rudo
Japan law twin Dösenbach 2,5x2cm© Rudo

Quartz Dösenbach 11,5cm©
Prase Quartz Dösenbach 18cm© Rudo

Quartz Dösenbach 4x5cm© M. Döpper
Quartz Dösenbach 6x6cm© M. Döpper

Quartz Dösenbach 12cm© M. Döpper
Quartz Dösenbach 8x10cm© M. Döpper

In 1980 a one off find was made by Gerfried Bacher and Herbert Forstnig.
On Eckriegel mountain in Dösenbach valley Gerfried discovered a cleft with wonderful Prase groups. While working, his friend Herbert had to "relieve" himself. When he had found a suitable place for this, a little sparkling thing caught his eye when he bent down to have a ****. It was a very nice Sceptre Quartz lying between the roots of a fallen tree. He began to dig right there and found a cleft with outstanding and bizarre groups of Prase. On top of that nearly all the specimens were totally undamaged. Some of the dark green Prase groups also had water clear Sceptre Quartzes integrated which gave them an amazing contrast. Today the best specimens can be seen at the private museum Kirchler in Ahrntal, Southern Tyrol. [Rudolf Hasler]

Auernig, Ankogel group

Quartz Auernig 9x8cm©
Quartz Auernig 12x8cm©

Quartz Auernig 13x10cm© Rudo
Quartz Auernig 7,5x3,5cm©

In 1982 Heli Prieml, together with Traudl and Adi Mittinger, were looking for clefts on the slopes of Ankogel mountain. They found a Quartz vein and after three days of fruitless work they suddenly looked into one of the largest Quartz clefts ever found in the area. They were afraid that other people would rob the Quartzes, so they guarded the cleft during the night, even during thunderstorms. Nine more days were spent extracting the crystals before Heli had to go home to his farm to bring in the hey. They closed the entrance carefully and left, to return a couple of weeks later. Before they left they asked the employees of the ski-lifts to notify other collectors that the cleft was being worked. In the Alps this means that no one else should work the cleft during that time, age old "Stoasuacha" ethics!
But the word travelled fast, soon other collectors broke the oath and started working on a cleft that wasn't theirs to work on. When Heli Prieml and the Mittingers came back to continue their work they couldn't believe what they saw, all they could do was cry.
Over 2000kg of fine Quartz crystals came from the cleft.

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern Mts, Goldberg group, Große Fleiß valley, Hocharn Mt.

Rutilated Quartz Hocharn 3cm© Rudo

Quartz west slope 10x10cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Hocharn 11,5cm©

Quartz Hocharn 10x8cm© M. Döpper
Quartz Hocharn 9x8cm© M. Döpper

Hocharn Southwest face

Quartz southwest face 6,5cm© Rudo
Quartz southwest face 9x12cm© Rudo

Quartz southwest face 11,5cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz southwest face 5,5cm©

Smoky Quartz in situ © M. Döpper
Dr. Georg Kandutsch © M. Döpper

Carinthia's most spectacular Smoky Quartzes were unearthed from a 14 meters deep cleft in the Hocharn southwest face by Dr. Georg Kandutsch in the 1980's.
Because it was located at an altitude of about 3000m the cleft was filled with ice and during the process of melting the ice with gas burners he found an anorak 3 meters deep inside the cleft. It must have belonged to the legendary Carinthian 'Strahler' Sebastian Brandstätter. Georg immediately realised he was working the fabulous cleft from which Sebastian Brandstätter had brought home his most beautiful Morion groups in the early 1970's, before he tragically lost his life on the mountain that had made him famous for his outstanding finds.
Behind Sebastian's anorak Georg was working "virgin" territory. He found Morion groups of unsurpassed beauty and quality, aesthetically accompanied by yellow Ankerite. Taking the huge clusters from the narrow and deep cleft turned out to be an arduous task. Georg and his helping friends got cold and wet, their fingers bleeding from all the Quartz shards and sometimes they nearly suffocated in the cleft because the gas burners they used to thaw the ice would deprive the cleft of oxygen. But the beauty and quality of the specimens made him continue. Finally he found his best specimens where the cleft pinched out, 14 meters deep.

In 1994 Georg Kandutsch discovered another cleft on the mountain together with Norbert Moser and Walter Tabernig, and in 1997 Georg Kandutsch found a huge 300kg heavy Quartz group.

Matthias and Norbert Daxbacher found exceptionally beautiful Amethysts on the Hocharn

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern, Goldberg group, Zirknitz, Große Zirknitz valley, Sandkopf

Quartz Sandkopf 9cm tall© Rudo
Quartz sceptre Sandkopf 5cm tall©

Quartz Sandkopf 8x6cm tall© Rudo
Quartz Sandkpf, 12x11cm tall© Rudo

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern, Goldberg group, Zirknitz, Große Zirknitz valley, Sandkopf

Amethyst 21,5cm tall© H. Fink
Amethyst 16cm tall© Rudo

Amethyst 10cm tall© G. Ban
Amethyst 5cm tall© Rudo

An amazing Amethyst cleft was found on Sandkopf mountain in 1987 by Martin Pirker. When he was walking up the mountain he first could not believe his eyes. In an area with almost no rocks where he had not expected to find anything he saw a huge sceptre quartz standing out of the grass. He began digging there and came to a cleft filled with Amethyst crystals. Together with Norbert Moser he rescued Amethyst sceptres up to 25 cm tall, showing intense colour and high lustre. Although many crystals were damaged there were at least 20 excellent specimens in the cleft. Each of them is unsurpassed in Europe. [Rudolf Hasler]

Carinthia, Hohe Tauern Mts, Reißeck group

Quartz Böse Nase 5,6cm© Christian Bracke
Quartz Hintereggengraben 5cm©

Southeastern part of the Hohe Tauern Mts, located south of the Ankogel group

Hintereggengraben/Mühldorfer Graben, Reißeck group

Amethyst with smoky phantom, 11,5cm tall© Rudo
Hintereggengraben 4,5cm © Rudo

Hintereggengraben 7cm© Rudo
Hintereggengraben 11cm© Rudo

Mühldorfer Graben 6,5cm© Rudo
Hintereggengraben 6cm© Rudo

The mountain ridge between Böse Nase and Hochegg in Hintereggengraben is a top spot for Quartz collectors. Although no real spectacular big finds are reported from there, with clefts being normally small, the most interesting and in my opinion the most beautiful Sceptre Quartzes of the Eastern Alps can be found there. The Quartzes impress by the enormous variety in colour, with beautiful phantoms inside. Opening a cleft there sometimes is really very special because the lucky finder might get something that he had never seen before in such a perfection. Mostly very dark Smoky Quartzes can be collected. Amethysts are very very rare but can be extraordinarily beautiful. Sometimes white sceptres sit on dark black Smoky Quartzes. [Rudolf Hasler]

Lower Austria, Waldviertel, Maissau, Amethyst vein

Amethyst specimen size: 0,5 x 1m © MaRi
Amethyst 10cm high © MaRi

Amethyst 60 x 40cm © MaRi
Amethyst 12 x 12cm © MaRi

This amethyst vein was discovered during quarry workings on the Maissauer Höhe around 1845. The vein has a dimension of 0.5 - 1 m in thickness and a confirmed length of 400 m. The estimated length is 1000 m! This vein is provided in the "Maissauer Granit", a part of the Thayapluton.

A part of the vein was opened and since 2005 a museum called Amethystwelt ('Amethyst world') on top of the vein is showing crystals up to 15 cm in situ.

Salzburg, Hohe taurn Mts, Felben valley

Quartz Schiedergraben 12cm© Martin Gruell

Mineralized clefts in amphibolites.
In this small eastern side valley of the lower Felben valley, nice Quartz specimens and exceptionally large titanite (to 7 cm), apatite (to 3 cm), pyrrhotite (to 10 x 15 x 20 cm) and chalcopyrite crystals (to 4 x 3 x 4 cm) were found.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Gastein valley

Quartz Schwarzkopf 2cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Schwarzkopf 23,5cm© Martin Gruell

Quartz Romate peak 7cm©
Quartz Silberpfennig 15cm©

In October 2005 Erwin Scheider was still looking for crystals near his home in Böckstein. He inspected a spot where he once found a nice Fluorite. Because he couldn't find a good hold on the steep slope he decided to dig a foothold. Upon doing so he heard the typical noise of iron against Quartz. He dug deeper and found a Quartz vein. Soon a hole opened and he could take out the first Quartzes. Groups and loose crystals up to 35cm long. He had to stop working the cleft when the snow came. During winter he informed his friend Walter Pfeffer and as soon as the snow was gone they returned. The cleft turned out to be huge. Together they worked days on end and the most fantastic smoky Quartz crystals came out. Some of them up to 60cm long, weighing up to 82kg, and they were very clear, with great lustre and undamaged.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Habach valley

Quartz Habachkees 14,5cm©

Valley famous for the Emerald deposit, but also very rich in mineralised Alpine clefts.

Breitkopf Mt., Habach valley

Quartz Breitkopf 7,5cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Breitkopf 13cm© Gerd Stefanik

In 1934 Lois Steiner sen, together with Hubert Prossegger, found a very large smoky Quartz cleft on Breitkopf mountain. 500kg of excellent quality smoky Quartz crystals came out of the cleft, the largest weighing 52kg.
After the find they got in trouble with the forestry and only after one whole year they could recollect their find at the forestry department.
Only one photo and a cut crystal remain from the find.

Leffler Brunnen, Habach valley

Quartz Leffler 6cm© Harjo
Quartz Anatase Leffler 5cm© Harjo

"Schwarzphyllit" (black phyllite) outcrops and blocks situated near the Leffler Brunnen (Leffler source), on the orographic left side of the lower Habach valley.
The outcrops and blocks are particularly rich in TiO2 minerals and quartz in clefts.
A series of small clefts were found by Harjo Neutkens in 2005. They produced nice Quartz crystals up to 12cm but most importantly some Quartz groups were covered with hundreds of Anatase crystals.

Teufelsmühle, Habach valley

Quartz Teufelsmühle 10cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Teufelsmühle 8,7cm© www.mineralienkluft.at

Mineralized clefts in chlorite amphibolite.
Located about 1 km NNW of Leiterkogel mountain.
Famous for "Skeletquarz" or in English corroded Quartz; dramatically etched Quartz crystals. Fantastic specimens of these, with single crystals to over 1m in length, from the find by Andy Steiner and Heinz Kirchtag can be seen in the museum of Bramberg, Austria.

Wiesbachrinne, Habach valley

Wiesbachrinne Quartz on display, note the different shades of smoky colour of crystals from the same cleft© Harjo

Quartz Wiesbachrinne 15cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz 9cm©

Talc schist outcrops and mineralisations in cavernous gneisses. Located SW of Schafkopf mountain and NW of Nasenkopf mountain. Famous for very dark smoky Quartz specimens.
Large smoky quartz find in 1993 by Andy Steiner in the upper Wiesbachrinne. The best smoky Quartz from Austria came from that cleft, crystals up to 40cm and specimens up to 70cm with very dark smoky Quartz, Morion at its best. They, Andy and Reinhard Heim, worked on a small cleft that got bigger and bigger. At the end of the day it started to look like there was a system of clefts. They found very nice smoky Quartzes and they showed them to Alois, Andy's father, and to Manfred, Reinhard's son. They decided to come along and for days on end they worked the cleft system. The spectacular Morion specimens can now be seen at the Steiner's private museum in Steinach-Bramberg as well as in the Bramberg museum.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Hollersbach valley, Scharnbachgraben

Quartz Schafkopf 17cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Scharn 22cm© Gerd Stefanik


Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Obersulzbach valley

Quartz Seekar 23,5cm© www.mineralienkluft.at
Quartz Schleiferspitze 16cm© Gerd Stefanik

Quartz Kampriese 14cm©
Quartz Wartkopf 10cm©

Several very good localities for excellent Quartz crystals. Alfred Aichberger found the largest smoky Quartz from the eastern Alps in the Sattelkar. An undamaged 203kg heavy, perfectly clear, coffee brown Quartz crystal. Many friends helped to get the crystal down the slopes into the valley. It now resides in the museum of Bramberg.
In 2006 Franz Gartner (the discoverer of the largest Alpine Kainosite) found a cleft full of perfect water clear Quartz crystals up to 40cm in length in the lower Untersulzbach valley.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Rauris valley

Quartz Rauris 7cm© E Burgsteiner
Large group ~100cm recent find by G. Aschacher© Harjo

A valley famous for very good Quartz finds. very often the Quartzes appear as Rauris habit crystals, comparable to Tessin habit Quartzes.

Hoher Sonnblick Mt. area, Rauris valley

Citrine H.Sonnblick 6,7cm©
Quartz H.Sonnblick 9cm© www.mineralienkluft.at

In this zone at the southern end of the Hüttwinkl valley, gneisses and amphibolitic migmatites are the predominant rocks.
In 1988 Huber Fink found a cleft in the north face of Hoher Sonnblick mountain. The crystals from the cleft were determined and described by Rudolf Rykart as being the first proof of genuine Citrine crystals from the Austrian Alps (Rudolf Rykart - Quartz Monografie)

Grieswies - Krumlkeeskopf Mt. area, Rauris valley

Quartz with Rutile, 15cm tall© H. Fink

Quartz Grieswies 11cm© www.mineralienkluft.at
Quartz Grieswies 7,6cm© Martin Gruell

Quartz Grieswies 12,8cm© Rob Lavinsky
Quartz Grieswies 5,3cm© Rob Lavinsky

Quartz Grieswies 11x9cm© H. Fink
Quartz Grieswies 9cm© H. Fink

Within this zone, extending west of the upper Hüttwinkl valley and south of the Ritterkopf massif into the upper Krumlbach valley, Penninic amphibolites, chlorite schists, micaschists, phyllites, prasinites, quartzites, as well as triassic lime and dolomite marbles (Seidlwinkl formation) alternate in a rapid succession. In some places, such as in the cliffs of the Grieswies, the different layers are well exposed over a height of up to several hundred meters. This area is very rich in mineralized clefts, which yielded many specimens of outstanding size and quality.

Hocharn Mt., Rauris valley

Quartz Hocharn 43cm, recent find from Franz Bründl© E Burgsteiner

Quartz Hocharn 15cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Hocharn 18cm© Gerd Stefanik

Quartz Hocharn 26cm© Rob Lavinsky
Quartz Hocharn 23cm© www.mineralienkluft.at

The Salzburg side of Hocharn mountain. Very rich in mineralised Alpine clefts.
2007, the summer was already going towards its end when Franz Bründl was already passing the Erfurter Steig at the first light of the day. He was on his way towards Hocharn mountain, an area where one could often find him. The area is well known by many collectors so chances of finding a good cleft are very small. That day he searched the rocks recently exposed by the retreating glacier, but nothing was to be found. Late afternoon, when he was already starting to get tired, he spotted a narrow 20cm wide Quartz vein that appeared to show a small hole at the lower end. The vein however was located in an area where many collectors had been before so he had little hopes, he was sure that the cleft had been emptied by others before him. Nevertheless, he got his clefthook out and began to scratch the surface of the cleft interior and after moving 5cm of the sandy surface he looked at a perfect 15cm tall Rock Crystal. What happened next made his hart jump even more, he touched another Quartz face that didn't seem to end.......he started working like an archaeologist, nothing should get damaged.., and after some work he was holding a perfect Rock Crystal, 43cm long and 16kg heavy. He returned the following days and many more crystals followed, among others a 60cm long slender crystal. Everyday his backpack was filled to the rim, he hardly managed to bring everything down the mountain every day, but, he was in very good spirits, I suppose that gave him an extra dose of power.......

Ritterkopf Mt., Rauris valley

Quartz Ritterkopf 20cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Ritterkopf 10cm©

Rock Crystal Ritterkopf 31cm© Rudo

Mineralized clefts in micaschists and prasinites.

Vorsterbach valley, Rauris valley

Quartz Vorsterbach 5,1cm© www.mineralienkluft.at
Quartz Vorsterbach 5cm© Martin Gruell

A major southeastern branch of the Rauris valley. Located SE of Wörth.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Stubach valley, Ödenwinkel area

Quartz Eiskögele 9cm©
Quartz Johannisberg 13cm©

This area includes the Ödenwinkel, a steep slope above the Ödenwinkel glacier, and the chain rimming it, from Hoher Kasten Mt. in the east to Johannisberg Mt. in the west. The Ödenwinkel forms the upper terminus of the Stubach valley.
The largest Quartz crystals from the Eastern Alps were found on in north face of Eiskögele mountain. On the 16th of July 1965 Peter Meilinger and Hans Hofer found gigantic Quartz crystals in an open cleft wile climbing the tricky Eiskögele north face.
The largest of the crystals was 116cm tall, 220cm in diameter and weighed 618kg.
During the very warm summer of 2003 Hannes and Gerhard Hofer went in the north face to look around the seldom ice free area around the Meilinger-Hofer cleft. They opened a new cleft containing large Quartzes with very good quality. In 2009 the Hofer brother found yet another very nice cleft in the same area. The top specimen was a cross shaped Quartz specimen, consisting of a 65cm tall Quartz crystal crossed by a 30cm large Quartz.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Untersulzbach valley, Ascham Alp - Breitfuß Mt. - Sonntagskopf Mt. area,

Quartz Ascham Alp 8cm©
Quartz Breitfuß 9cm©

This area is dominated by gneisses, just like the Abichl Alp - Beryller area, southeast to which it is located. However, there also are leucocratic gneisses present, which include a suite of rare bismuth sulphosalts.

Salzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Wildgerlos valley, Wildgerlos glacier

Quartz Wildgerlos 13cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Wildgerlos 10cm© Gerd Stefanik

Good localities near the glacier for excellent smoky Quartz. Recently Christian Niederegger found a cleft containing large, up to 40cm tall, smoky Quartz of outstanding quality.

Salzburg, Lungau, Murwinkel, Rotgülden, Lower Rotgülden lake, Arsenic mine

Japan Law twin Rotgülden FOV 1,2cm© AL
Quartz Rotgülden 10cm©

Abandoned arsenic mine (arsenopyrite-pyrite-chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite mineralisations with minor gold).
Famous for excellent gustavite crystals collected underground.

Salzburg, Lungau, Murwinkel, Weißeck Mt. area (incl. Rauchkopf Mt.; Riedingscharte)

Quartz Weißeck 8cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Weißeck 13cm© Martin Gruell

Located on the ridge between the Murwinkel and the upper Zederhaus valley.
The area around Weißeck mountain is dominated by dolomites and limestones of the Radstadt formation. They occupy an area that is elliptical in plan view, about 3.5 km long and up to 1.5 km wide, with Weißeck mountain located a little south of its center. Fluorite is found in outcrops and loose boulders in numerous places on the slopes, either in clefts or in quartz veins. These occurrences have been known since the late 18th century.

Salzburg, Lungau, Zederhaus valley

23cm large Quartz from Zederhaus. The pocket was in "Grünschiefer"© www.mineralienkluft.at

Quartz Zederhaus 31kg!© Martin Gruell
Quartz Zederhaus 31kg!© Martin Gruell

Quartz Zederhaus 10cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Zederhaus 16cm© Martin Gruell

Quartz Zederhaus 13,2cm© www.mineralienkluft.at
Quartz Zederhaus 9cm© Martin Gruell

Valley oriented parallel to the adjacent Mur valley (Murtal).

Styria, Graz, Wildon, Weitendorf Basalt quarry

Quartz Weitendorf FOV 4cm© ReMi
Chalcedony FOV 5cm© ReMi

A quarry in andesitic basalt.
Famous for nice chalcedony, aragonite and zeolites (e.g., ferrierite).
Located about 1.5 km west of Weitendorf (west of Wildon and around 17 km south of Graz).

Tyrol, East Tyrol, Tauern valley, Froßnitz valley, Wildenkogel Mt.

Smoky Quartz Wildenkogel, 9x7cm© Rudo

Quartz Wildenkogel 18cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Wildenkogel 6cm©


Tyrol, East Tyrol, Virgen valley

Quartz Virgental 26,8cm© Rob Lavinsky
Japan Law twin Pebell Alp 2cm© Volker Betz


Tyrol, North Tyrol, Ziller valley, Zemmgrund, Mörchner area, Mörchnerkar

Quartz Mörchner 14cm© www.mineralienkluft.at
Quartz Mörchnerkar 17,7cm© Martin Gruell


Tyrol, North Tyrol, Ziller valley, Zemmgrund, Mörchner area, Saurüssel

Quartz Saurüssel 22cm© Martin Gruell
Quartz Saurüssel 3,5cm© Martin Gruell

Quartz Saurüssel 15cm©
Quartz Saurüssel 9cm© Gerd Stefanik

A steep ridge west of Kleiner Mörchner mountain and the Mörchnerkees. This area is well known for exceptional iron roses and sceptre amethysts.

The Hofer brothers cleft

Amethyst Saurüssel 17cm© Martin Gruell
Amethyst Saurüssel 10cm© Martin Gruell

A remarkable Amethyst find in the Saurüssel was done by the Hofer brothers, Hannes and Gerhard, on a rainy (and snowy higher up in the mountains) day. They didn't expect anything and because most of the area was snow covered they looked at an old cleft in a small mountain stream. Because it was their only option they began to work the rock around the old cleft when all of a sudden they broke into a cleft. When one of the brother got inside with his hands he could feel crystal faces, he took it out and what they saw was something they never saw before. A 17cm large perfect Amethyst sceptre on a thin Rock Crystal stem with the deepest purple colour imaginable. The rainy day turned into a colourful festivity!

The Planitzer cleft

Sceptre Amethyst 21cm tall© Martin Gruell
Amethyst 9cm tall© Martin Gruell

Another remarkable Saurüssel find was done by by Erika and Rudolf Planitzer in August 1976. Mr. and Mrs. Planitzer discovered one of the largest Amethyste-clefts ever, in this area. It took 5 days to bring all specimen down in the valley. The find was never published and the discovers don´t show them to many people. Now Mr. Planitzer decided to show some of the best pieces here on Mindat for the Best of Quartz/Austria Page.
Collection Erika and Rudolf Planitzer. [Martin Gruell]

Tyrol, North Tyrol, Ziller valley, Zillergrund

Quartz Grasleiten 22cm© Gerd Stefanik
Quartz Elfriede 20cm©


[Harjo Neutkens, Rudolf Hasler and Martin Gruell 2010-2012]

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Edited 216 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2014 08:25PM by Rudolf Hasler.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
December 03, 2010 04:25PM
My suggestion would be that you get some expert on it. The only one on mindat would be Gerd Stefanik.
I`m no specialized in Alpine minerals but I saw many specimen tremendously better than the pics here.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
December 05, 2010 07:56PM
I agree Chris. I saw fantastic pieces in collections of several friends of mine in Austria.
Problem is, they haven't posted pics on mindat, and for the article I'm limited to these.
I got some photos of very good specimens from Erwin Burgsteiner and Martin posted photos by Christian Hager of some very nice Amethyst from Saurüssel.
We're getting there in the end winking smiley
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
December 07, 2010 04:52PM
Can you explain them how important any documentaion would be?
Shouldn`t be that problem to make pics from public collections like that one from Bramberg, or?
They have killer specimen en suite ......
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
December 07, 2010 08:36PM
Next time I'll bring my camera when I visit them, usually talking about and looking at minerals and especially drinking wine prevail winking smiley
Did you see the snapshot in the article that I took from the huge Rauris specimen? The best crystal of that cleft is in the collection of a friend of mine, not in the museum.......
In due time I'll upload more photos and Martin will upload some good ones too.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 21, 2011 09:03PM
Martin Gruell added some very fine photos from the Watzl collection!!!
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 12:23AM
Well, Harjo,
That sounds like that should be a good incentive for you to grab them and stick them in the Best Minerals Quartz, Auistria article that I know you will want to work on next, Right?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 11:16AM
They're already there Rock, check the article above winking smiley
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 11:52AM
Beautify done as usual. I was looking at my list of things and didn't go any higher. Im not sure why, but my list of selections is in your post and I think now would be a good time for you to delete it. It is just taking up a lot of space and is confusing now to people. You appear to have this one well in hand.

I have experimented with Dave's program to assist us in the work we are doing and I made the mistake of making the selection of pseudomorphs in the traditional fashion before trying it out and therefore doomed my self to hours of extra work that I didn't have to do. His program makes the selection of possible minerals for any article a snap and also automatically at the same time reverses the locality strings for us, embeds the images and makes things a lot easier in general. I would highly recommend you use the program and Ill help you learn it if you want. I tried it out on the article for chalcocite and it took just a few minutes to generate the article as it currently stands. When I get the pseudomorph articles in hand I will go in and clean up the Chalcocite article. I needs a few of the selections chucked out and the captions added and the images made pretty, but what his program does has saved me hours already. I don't know how to use his program very well yet, but it will cut years off the time to complete the project if we learn to use it.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2011 12:03PM by Rock Currier.
Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 01:57PM
Very nice selection of good photos.
Now one can actually understand the crystals' habits.
And great to see a real Alpine citrine.

Two comments on the text:
1. Who is Franz Rykart? :D
2. Personally I wouldn't translate Skeletquarz with skeleton quartz, because the English term is often used for Fensterquarz, which is also called "window quartz" or "frame quartz". And "Franz" Rykart wouldn't do that either. ;)
BTW, the corroded quartz crystal shown is a macromosaic quartz, that's why he has a jagged surface. If corroded quartz crystals show rounded edges and a more elliptic shape with no dents, they are sometimes called "Frauenquarz" (woman quartz) in Austria.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 02:46PM
Great pics Harjo, we are comming nearer the top quality smiling smiley
I`m no expert in Alpine quartz but what I`m still missing is the great find from the Ritterkar from the brothers Asch...
Any chance to get a pic? PM me if you don`t know their adress.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
January 22, 2011 07:10PM
Dammit....thanks Amir, that's a silly one.......I copied that from the Sonnblick Mindat page without paying attention to it.....changed to Rudolf now. His Quartz monography is my bible winking smiley
I'll call the Skeletquarz corroded Quartz, thanks again winking smiley
Chris, I think the large specimen from the Bramberg museum is from Gerhard Aschacher's find, it's in the Rauris section of the article. Last year I held a loose crystal from the same cleft in my hands. Even better then the ones in the museum!
You're right Rock, I'll invest some time to learn hoe to use Dave's program.
Thanks guys!!
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
February 24, 2011 09:41PM
Today I added a couple of great photos made by Martin Gruell. Gradually the article is taking shape.
It's still a work in progress, Austria deserves a very good article because of the fantastic variety of high quality Quartz specimens found in the Austrian Alpine clefts.
We've seen amazing specimens in local private collections, Martin and I are trying to get these photographed and into the article, this however takes some time.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
February 24, 2011 10:32PM

Austrian perfection, Ziller valley Amethyst, found by Gerhard and Hannes Hofer

I think Rob Lavinsky must be at work here in Best Minerals or the irrepressable artist in you has escaped yet once again!B)-;)

You are doing a great job on the article and fortunately because of the on line format there are no time or space constraints that we must adhere to.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
February 25, 2011 05:39PM
I think Rob Lavinsky must be at work here in Best Minerals or the irrepressable artist in you has escaped yet once again!smoking smileywinking smiley

smileys with beer(:Dsmileys with beer
Re: Quartz, Austria
June 18, 2011 08:36PM
yes Harjo, defenitely - the large specimen in Bramberg is from the find of Asch.
Re: Quartz, Austria
June 18, 2011 08:39PM
The right foto from the Ritterkopf-pieces show a 10cm specimen with Calcite, which is from the Asch-find. Directly from the finder.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
March 25, 2012 07:06PM

One outstanding find is still definitely missing in the article about Quartz in Austria: The Amethyst cleft on Sandkopf, Großkirchheim, Carinthia, Austria in 1987. The cleft was found by Martin Pirker. Together with Norbert Moser he rescued Amethystszepters with sizes up to 25 cm in unreached color and brilliance. Although many crystals were damaged there were at least 20 excellent pieces in the cleft. Each of them is unsurpassed in Europe.
I have posted a photograph (Photo ID 454016) of one of the best pieces in my homepage.

avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
March 25, 2012 08:04PM
Yes, that definitely needs to go into the article and I am sure that as soon as Harjo spots this, he will add it to the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Quartz, Austria
March 25, 2012 08:19PM
Yes he will winking smiley
Danke Rudolf! Ich werde gleich an die Arbeit gehen!


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