The Story of California’s Crystal Cavern

Melones Fault Zone

 Grizzly Ridge Quartz Ranch is a privately owned company dedicated to the exploration and development of an unusual quartz crystal deposit in El Dorado County, California.  The deposit lies between the Calaveras Terrane and the Shoo Fly Complex, in the Melones Fault zone in the heart of the California Mother Lode region.

 Scientific theories regarding the California Mother Lode region are well documented.  As the continents were forming, the North American Plate uplifted as the Pacific Plate subducted underneath it.  Geologists observed that the ultra-basic rocks intruded along the Melones fault zone are of very deep origin, coming from the upper mantle of the earth.  Long before it was a fault zone it marked the location of a deep ocean trench that stretched northwest to southeast and far to the west.  Referred to as the Sierran trench, it was a submerged canyon that first formed in an ancient sea.  Massive geologic events caused cracks in the terranes that allowed very hot super-saturated silicate solutions to rise upward under great pressure.  As it cooled, these silicate solutions formed quartz crystals in cavernous spaces.  Scientists have long debated how the rapidity of cooling affects quartz crystals, their sizes, shapes, and all the different mineral inclusions seen today.


The following specimens are of Heirloom quality with detailed provenance.


V Twin

 This natural twin crystal was carefully removed from the fault-line crystal cavern.   Translucent to transparent,  glows beautifully in the sunlight.  The original crystals that make up this specimen were perhaps longer, sheared by activity in the fault zone and re-healed with later-stage solutions.  Measures 28″ long by 20″ high by 15″ wide.  A truly unique specimen from this Historic Site.

One Hundred Two pounds

 This high grade 102 pound quartz crystal is exquisite.  Sheared and re-healed during fault-line activity.

Displayed by twirling on a cloth rope.  This stone will look great displayed in natural light.

Dimensions = 23″ x 12″ x 10″