Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 1982, Vol. 18, No. 4

Artistry in Rock Crystal: The Van Pelt Collection

Harold and Erica Van Pelt of Los Angeles are known worldwide for their superb color photography of gems and minerals. A well-kept secret, however, has been their remarkable proficiency in the lapidary arts, specifically in the production in traditional styles of many important rock crystal objects, including candlesticks, vases, paperweights, and polished quartz crystals containing various mineral inclusions. Agate, amethyst, and other gemstones are also employed. For the most part, the machinery used to create these objects was designed or modified by the Van Pelts themselves and includes devices for sawing, grinding, and polishing. A step by-step procedure for making a hollow ostrich egg, completely covered by triangular facets, is explained.