Dimension and Size of Skull
From front to the back it is 14.5 cm (5.71 inches),
the height 9.5 cm (3.74 inches) and the breadth (width) is 9 cm (3.54
Weight of the Skull
The skull weighs 1600 grams (3.53 lbs) and was started
from a 12.5 KG (27.56 lbs) block of quartz crystal that the carver
bought in Madagascar (Africa).
The skull is carved to a high level of precision and
its dimensions are actually the same as found with a human bone skull.
The teeth look completely natural with the highest level of detail. The
crystal that was used in the carving is almost total clear and
transparent. However, there are a few long straight needles embedded within the quartz from black tourmaline that one can see when
looking from underneath the skullís jaw. There are also a few
inclusions inside the quartz piece.
This is a uniquely carved crystal skull done by a
Master Carver from Idar-Oberstein,
Germany. Many people seek the assistance of the carvers of Idar-Oberstein
to do special stone pieces for them. The reason why these carvers are in
such high demand is because they are able to reproduce to such a degree
of accuracy the piece they make, which are done in a variety of
different gemstones.These artisans specialize in
reproducing known objects or cameos (of animals, plants or
even people including styles of work done by former ancient cultures in
the world such as Roman or Greek). The carvers of Idar-Oberstein
have been active since the 16th century and in order to become a carver,
they must go through many years of training and apprenticeship.
The carver of this specific crystal skull is a member of this elite
group of carvers. He is actively sought out by people from all
over the world to create special
stone pieces on their behalf. He is a master of making cameos and
three dimensional based objects.
(Below are more pictures of this crystal skull, the
carver's background and a brief history about Idar-Oberstein)
Background on the Carver
(A Master Carver from Idar-Oberstein, Germany
as known as the "Gemstone Center" of the world)
Georg's career began as a carver in 1971. At
this time, his teacher at school
recognized that he had a special talent for rendering and drawing 3-dimensional
objects. Thus the teacher recommended that Georg should speak to one of the master gem carvers
in Idar-Oberstein to see if he would be accepted as a student to do
stone carving. Two weeks later Georg had an interview with such
a carver who also recognized Georg's talent and decided to take him on as
his apprentice. The master carvers in Idar-Oberstein only work with one
student at a time by the way.
For 3 Ĺ years, Georg met with this Master Stone Carver
for two times a week and
then went to a carverís school at night. By law in Germany, an individual is
not allowed to work as a carver unless they have such training. In
this special school Georg not only learned about specific techniques how to
carve gemstones, but also learned about the weights, appearance and
hardness of different gemstones and from where they are unearthed within
our world. He also
had to study the history of art in order to fully understand and
appreciate how to
carve the proper proportions and dimensions of any object that he would
be requested to reproduce in the
In order to setup their own workshop, a carver must take a Master
Examination which requires the carver to create a "Master Piece". In
1988, after 17 years of study and hard work as a carver for a few local
companies, Georg finally passed his Master Examination. He made an unbelievable
"Master Piece" from a very unusual piece of agate. This stone was
a very bright red on the outside and had a grey color to the stone
inside. Thus he made a mouse (from the grey portion of the stone) that is lying inside of half an apple (from
part) depicting that the mouse had eaten this fruit. Georg stated that
his master piece in currently on display
in the famous German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein and that he
serious doubts he could re-create this carving as it would be impossible
to find such a special stone like this ever again.
History of the Crystal Skull, Georg Has Carved
In 1996, Georg was in Madagasgar and the local people
heard there was a
German in their town looking for stones. So he was approached by a native
man who at first offered him a strangely form piece of quartz as a gift.
Then later, this native man returned and showed Georg a very large raw block of crystal
which Georg purchased from him. When Georg returned
to Germany, he brought the piece on the plane with him so it was
not damaged. Georg said when he first looked into the block, he already saw
the form of a skull there and knew he would eventually carve it into
such at a later time.
This quartz piece stayed untouched in his stockroom for a few years before but then finally, he was inspired to begin to do the
carving to make it into a crystal skull. At first, for a few
weeks, he just
devoted all his time and worked upon this piece of quartz but finally, about four or five years ago, he finished it.
Georg told us that he had visited a number of times the Museum of
Mankind in London, where the British Museum Crystal Skull was kept until
recently. When he saw this crystal skull, as a carver he was able to determine
from the style of the workmanship that it had been produced by a carverís
wheel. He felt that he personally could do a much more sophisticated job and
thus this was one of the reasons he became inspired to do a carving of a crystal skull himself.
During the carving of his crystal skull, Georg used a dentistís
drill to make the teeth so they are extremely accurate. The actual polishing
of the skull took hours and hours of time. In order to get the details
to precise match a human skull, he needed
to use a few very small wooden wheels with a paste that held a fine diamond powder
onto the wheels.
Others Pictures of this Crystal
(from Georg, in black and white)
Side Profile of the Crystal Skull
The other side profile of this beautifully
Frontal View of the Crystal Skull
A closer look at the precise detail done of the
History of Idar-Oberstein
Idar-Oberstein is actually the name of two cities in
Germany which have merged together (since 1933). Idar-Oberstein is
located in the Nahe River Valley which is part of the Rhineland-Palatine
region in the southwestern part of Germany.
It is the largest city in the HunsrŁck Mountain range and has a population of around 50,000.
It is currently best known as one of the most famous "Gemstone
Centers" in the world as throughout the city are numerous shops that
sell all kinds of gemstones and semi-precious stones plus the incredible
artwork and jewelry that is made by the local carvers. It has been
documented that the mining of agate, jasper and quartz began in 1497 as in this area were incredible mines of
these gemstones. This eventually lead to
the creation and demand for local carvers to live in this area. Originally, the river was used to power the carverís
grinding wheels. (Note: a number of the carvers in
Idar-Obersteinn claim that mining and cutting of agate dates as far back
the Roman times Ö)
However, in the early part of the 19th century, the mines
tapped out from their minerals wealth and thus this region went through a temporary
decline. However the industry had a resurgence when quartz crystals were
shipped from laden rich Brazil in the 1870ís. It is stated that by this
time there were more than 150 cutting shops throughout Idar-Oberstein.
The carvers here work with all kind of gemstones and as an example of
some of the objects they produce includes: dishes, goblets, bowls, snuff
boxes, cane heads, parasol handles, fancy buttons, statuettes of animals
and people and even a few crystal skulls have been carved by the
talented artisans in this region.
The region also hosts the
International Trade Fair for Precious Stones and Jewellery (Intergem)
which began in 1985 that is held every year in September or October. It
showcases many local dealers who sell fine and loose colored stones, as
well as jewelry of various designs. There are a number of master cameo carvers that live in this area as well.
The term cameo by the way is defined as carved gems with incised and
raised engraving, respectively. The carving may be done either by simple
manual tools or by rotary tools ( drilling and grinding ).
There are two museums in Idar-Oberstein which show examples of the
work done by the local carvers: the Museum Idar-Oberstein and the German
Gemstone Museum (this last museum is considered by many gem connoisseurs to be one of the
best in the world).
From the book, "Mystery of the Crystal Skulls" written by Chris Morton
and Ceri Louise Thomas (Published by Bear & Company, Santa Fe, USA,
1998): The authors had an opportunity to speak to Hans Jurgen Henn, who
is an owner of one of the ateliers (carver's workshops or studios in Idar-Oberstein).
One key idea that Mr. Henn discussed for his interview related to the
stone work done in Idar-Oberstein is that the dealers protect
their business by keeping their customers away from their carvers.
They never tell their customers the name of the carver of the pieces
they buy nor do they keep any records about this either.
Mr. Henn showed the authors a crystal skull that was made in his
workshop around 1993. It was a small skull but also anatomically
correct as the one shown on this webpage. All of its feature were realistically carved including the
teeth. This skull was also made from a very pure and transparent
quartz piece and like the other modern skulls being made today, was done
by diamond-tipped tools. So as Georg states, occassionally the
carvers in Idar-Oberstein decide to make a crystal skull but when they
do, they are very precise and accurate.
Why had this skull been carved, well according to Mr. Henn:
The stones tell us how they
want to be carved and cut, and this can make things a little difficult.
You see this stone, I guess, it was sleeping for awhile before he told
us what he wanted to be.