Grape Agate/Botryoidal Amethyst
A Wonderful FIND....that is almost GONE
Grape Agate is a very interesting material that was introduced to the market in the latter half of 2016. It was discovered some years back along one of Indonesia's island coastal areas, Manakarra Beach in the Mamuju Area, Sulawesi Barat Province, West Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. Since its discovery the Indonesian government had not allow it to be collected or exported until late 2016.
We found an exclusive import dealer at the 2017 Franklin, NC Show who we buy from every year. The specimens we choose are nice lavender colors with associated moss-green Celadonite making a superb contrast. At the 2023 show we found some specimens with amazing crystals on the specimens.
These have been called Grape Agate, Grape Chalcedony, Amethyst Grapes and probably more names we have yet to hear. We originally called them Grape Chalcedony Agate due to their color, botryoidal formation and their cluster formation.
Now er call these Grape Agate as they form combinations of fine brilliant purple radial aggregates "balls" that resemble a bunch of grapes that have a stunning three-dimensional form and enticingly sparkling luster. When viewed through Opti-Visors or magnification, each individual "ball" has finite crystallized drusy-like surfaces.
What drew us as a dealer and provider for collectors to this new find is that it is a common mineral with an uncommon color and habit in the mineral world from a locality that is almost played out.
Purple is a highly desirable color for mineral specimens as evidenced by the demand for Amethyst, Opalized Fluorite (Tiffany Stone) and Purple Fluorite to name a few. Like most new discoveries, it’s unpredictable to say how much more will be available, and what quality the specimens will be.
Normally the best material tends to find its way to the market first, and the prices rise dramatically with demand and reduced availability. Prices have been all over for this material. Specimens at many high end dealers are still priced in the thousands of dollars. Specimens tend to be more affordable in the USA compared to what we have seen internationally. We hope you like these specimens as much as we do!