Group of six optical quartz spheres
Carved in Idar-Oberstein, Germany
During World War II, many nations stockpiled strategic commodities, in case these materials would be unavailable for strategic needs. In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States and Canada decided there was no longer a need to stockpile such items as beryl crystals and hemp rope.
One such strategic material was optically pure quartz, which could be used to make high-quality lenses and bombsights. In the 1980s, Canada released the rough material for these optically-clean, Brazilian rock crystal quartz spheres. An Ontario collector purchased this material and sent it to the world-famous lapidaries of Idar-Oberstein, Germany, for careful polishing. (6)
Each sphere measures 1 ½ inches in diameter (almost 4 cm)