Collection of 850 Carved Mineral Eggs
Lot 1301W
The Jerusalem Egg Collection—One of the World's Finest Collections of Mineral Eggs—850 Specimens
Sold for US$ 170,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
Natural History New York
27 May 2010 13:00 EDT

Auction 18252
Lot Details
The Jerusalem Egg Collection—One of the World's Finest Collections of Mineral Eggs—850 Specimens
Minerals from Worldwide Localities
Carved by Dieter Jerusalem
Idar-Oberstein, Germany

Dieter Jerusalem is one of the great gemstone craftsmen of our time. Born in 1942 in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, he attended the renowned school for gem cutters there for three years together with Bernd Munsteiner, another famous lapidary artist. After further apprenticing and training, he received his Master Lapidary Diploma in 1962, becoming the youngest master of gemstone cutting in Idar. Dieter Jerusalem started to cut stone eggs in his father's atelier in the mid-1960s. At first, they worked closely in the style of Fabergé. But soon, he began to "carve" his own style and path in the lapidary field, so that today he is well known by collectors of gemstones and mineral eggs throughout the world.He is now retired and no longer produces gemstone carvings.

Bounded to the traditions of Idar-Oberstein, each mineral is cut so that its natural purity and beauty is brought out. He only uses traditional cutting and carving techniques. As a gemstone "purist" he does not combine metalwork with his carvings, preferring to let the material speak for itself. Much of his time has been spent finding rare and unusual gemstone materials, especially from various exhausted deposits in Europe.

This is a magnificent collection was forty years in the making and features 850 specimens of precious gems and minerals from the finest localities in the world cut and polished into egg form. An unimaginable spectral display, this collection is both visually stunning and virtually overwhelming in its scope. The Jerusalem imprimatur is prized by collectors, as every egg is carefully cut and polished to maximize and intensify the inherent natural beauty of each mineral—and this collection represents the finest examples rendered.

What separates the eggs in this collection from those fabricated in the Far East, is the precision with which they are cut— in this case the majority are cut to conform to the "classic" Idar size specifications of 58mm height—the size of a perfect hen's egg. Included are many minerals no longer available—due either to exhausted deposits or mine closings. The collection is comprised of precious and semi-precious stones. Some of the most precious, valuable or unusual include: a number of unusual Idar-Oberstein agates; pink tourmaline, Pala, California; morganite, Brazil; green beryl, Madagascar; aquamarine, Brazil; turquoise, Arizona; charoite, Russia; sphalerite, Spain; tourmalinated quartz, Namibia; rutilated quartz, Nigeria; native silver in matrix, Canada; citrine, Brazil; jadeite, Switzerland; variscite, Australia; rhodochrosite, Greece; as well as numerous jaspers, agates, and quartz with phantoms and unusual inclusions. Phenonmenal gemstones, such as cat's eye petalite are also represented. This is an exceedingly notable offering of a spectacular blaze of color. (850)


  • Accompanied by custom Lucite stands, which include space for each egg in the collection. A complete list of the minerals is available upon request.