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World's largest amethyst debuts in Tucson

Posted at 7:44 AM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 10:48:27-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The world's largest amethyst geode debuted in public for the first time in Tucson during the 2016 Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase.

It measures 13 ft long, 5 ft high, and weights about 30,000 lbs. There are four windows cut into the geode exposing brilliant purple crystal inside. The owner, Carlos Sanches, brought it to Tucson from a remote mine in Uruguay. Right now, it sits at the Granada Avenue Mineral Show at 350 N. Granada Ave.

Sanches says it took about three months to transport from Uruguay, about three months before than in the shop for preparation, and 6 months before that to carefully remove from the ground using explosives.

"It's almost an artistry of work to bring these minerals out of the ground using explosives," said Juan Carlos Gracia. He helped translate for Sanches and works at the Granada show.

To be accurate, this is the worlds largest, in-tact geode.

"Everyone on the outside is natural," said Sanches.

This amethyst is whole, they did not cut or remove certain parts for extraction and transportation.

"Some other specimens may be of this size, but they are using cement to keep it together," said Gracia.

Over the course of the Granada Avenue Mineral Show, manager, Harvey Siegel, says the amethyst has been very popular. He estimates visitors have taken "thousands of photos" with the amethyst and in general it is bringing in big crowds.

"A lot more busier than last year, we have all these large geodes here which have attracted a huge internet sensation," said Siegel.

This is the first time the public has been able to see the amethyst. It has not been shown anywhere else around the world. Sanches says they debuted it in Tucson because this is the largest show in the world.