Alpine Quartz Scepters - more than just a naughty shape!

by Johannes Ruef

Imagine the perfect sceptre quartz. Got an image in your head? Something with an amethyst tip maybe? Nice! Now combine your dream sceptre with the rough and unforgiving terrain of the Swiss Alps. As naughty and dreamy as that may look, a good sceptre quartz from the rugged terrain of the Swiss Alps is one of the most fascinating things the mountains have to offer.

There is a number of famous Alpine locations where great finds of sceptre quartzes have been made, including Mörchnerkar in Zillertal (Austria), Fiescherglacier in Fiesch (Switzerland) and Chummibort in Binn valley (Switzerland). However, what keeps surprising me is the number of lesser-known places that produce sceptre quartz – spanning the whole range from good quality all the way up to exceptional.

Part of the fascination of Alpine crystal collecting is that at any time a new dazzling find could be made. Many of those finds don’t make it into the news because the Strahler who made the discovery keep the best pieces for themselves and, hoping to find more, don’t like to spread the word of the location. It’s a shame for the collector, but who can blame them?



Just in 2022 a Swiss shepherd uncovered a pocket in a ditch in the middle of his farm land, with several amethysts and sceptre quartz specimen in there, some of which could be the biggest sceptres ever found in Switzerland! The base is dark smoky quartz, coated by a layer of amethyst. Just wonderful!


The most famous Swiss sceptres are probably the ones found on the Fiescher glacier in the 1960s. It is a sequence of rocks that is only 20 meters broad, coming down from a steep rock wall and disappearing into the glacier. Along this seam of good rock there were several clefts with perfect amethyst sceptres, just like the naughty dream of an absolutely perfect sceptre you always had in your had (and latest since the beginning of this article). The area has by now been extensively prospected and new finds are rather unlikely these days.


Amethyst scepter
Kleines Sidelhorn, Oberwald, Valais, Switzerland
4 x 2,5 x 2 cm
Usually you can’t touch the inner side of a crystal – here you can! It’s not only about the combination of amethyst and a scepter: on one side you can have a look at the crystal in the inside. This inner crystal is a rock-crystal; the faces are oriented in the same as the scepter.


Amethyst scepter
Chummibort, Binn valley, Valais, Switzerland
4 x 2 x 1,2 cm


Quartz scepter
Vorderer Zinggenstock, Guttannen, Bern, Switzerland
4 x 1,6 x 2,5 cm


Amethyst scepter
Vorderer Zinggenstock, Guttannen, Bern, Switzerland
4,5 x 1,5 x 1,5 cm

That’s a very special quartz! You will see a combination of 3 characteristics: a) it’s an amethyst  b) it’s a scepter  c) it’s a double terminated scepter.


Quartz scepter
Alpe Fieud, Airolo, Tessin, Switzerland
3,5 x 2 x 2,3 cm

Click here for our selection of scepter-quartz.

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