Crystal Treasure Trove
Copyright © 2015 - Bill Kaunitz
My Crystal Family and Other Critters
Picture # 37
Before I started selling crystals in 1981, I completed my studies in business, biology and law. I have since made my living by distributing thousands of stones up to the present day. Back in college, I started at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. My main extracurricular activity was working with the University Of Pennsylvania Consumers ' Board for two years. This student organization helped people with small claims cases and housing referrals. Then I moved on to biology studies at Cornell. Later, during law school in San Francisco, my sideline was re-building and restoring full size pinball machines. My tech partner and I ended up restoring 51 pinball games. I just sold the last one in 2012. At one point, we had 24 functioning pinball machines in our apartment building!
I guess I have always been a collector. As a kid, I collected foreign coins and stamps from all over the world. I can see a parallel with my current habit of buying crystals from all over the planet. It is a great way to travel energetically; a form of “remote tourism.” In 1980, I relocated to Dallas, Texas, followed by Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1983. Hot Springs National Park is in the middle of the quartz crystal mining region of southern Arkansas. Within a 30-mile radius of my house, there were 1,000 active crystal mines. Every month I was able to look at over a million crystals. I was in Crystal Heaven!
Picture # 38
From my current viewpoint, in my sixties, it is always a shock to see how hairy and skinny I was. I guess lugging around pinball machines helped keep me in good shape. Now instead of carrying 150-pound pinball machines, my helpers and I push around 1000-pound rocks. The heaviest one I ever moved by myself, without help or machinery, was over 600 pounds.
It is amazing how seemingly unrelated experiences can fall into place later in life. I developed a great set of skills working on the pinball machines. I learned how to work with wood, glass, paint, plastics and electrical circuits. All of that helps me now when I build sculptures for the stones. Once again, I am lucky to be able to apply my skills to what I love, enhancing the beauty of the crystals.
Picture # 39
Meet the mage, John Scott. He is the electronic genius who helped fix my pinball machines. With his design and fabrication skills, he also built the equipment to run our crystal light shows. John was willing to model for these mysterious crystal ball pictures. He already had his own cape and hood. The pictures were done, appropriately, at Land's End, San Francisco- the edge of nowhere. Can you see his upside down face in the crystal ball?
Picture # 40
Crystal balls are powerful objects. It does not matter whether they are made of glass, plastic or quartz crystal if you can use them to focus energy. A crystal ball will also focus sunlight and heat, which makes them dangerous because they can start fires. The crystal ball acts like a clear magnifying lens, creating a huge amount of heat instantly.
Some people travel with small clear spheres to use as solar fire starters. In this picture, you can see how carefully John is holding the ball so that he does not burn his fingers. When you are storing or displaying a crystal ball, it is important to keep it away from direct sunlight. Even setting a crystal ball in a sunny window can create a hazardous situation. We have had a series of close calls over the years where crystal balls have started to scorch the bases they sat on. With my good luck, I managed to smell the smoldering wood or fabric before it actually burst into flames. In Volume 4, Inside the Crystal, we will take a look at the differences between glass balls, quartz balls, and laboratory quartz crystal balls. You will find out how to identify the different types of materials that can affect the energetic qualities and prices of the spheres.
Picture # 41
Everett Buss created this wizard sculpture in Arkansas using Sculpey ® clay and Arkansas crystals with live moss. Bill Disney set up this clever shot with special lighting and homemade star systems. It invokes the connection between the glowing gems of the earth and the radiating light of heaven. All the elements combine in a memorable mystical moment.
Picture # 42
Vladimir and Milla are new friends I met at the 2014 Denver show. Dr. Vladimir is director of research at an electronic crystal growing company. He is the first man to create laboratory crystals that look like fine natural quartz from the ground. He has duplicated the earth's processes to create crystal clusters that grew over a three-year period in a giant pressure cooker. His crystals form in a watery silica solution at 600 degrees Fahrenheit. He has proved that natural crystals can grow at rates much faster than many people believe.
Other laboratories have achieved growth rates of 250-pound crystals per DAY! The world record size for a man-made crystal is now over 20,000 pounds. That huge five-foot tall cube of pure quartz took only 60 days to grow under catalyzed conditions. This process may explain how some quartz crystals grow up to sizes of 80,000 pounds deep in the earth. Spodumene and selenite crystals get even larger than that in deep caverns. Maybe there is no limit to crystal sizes. Scientists say the core of the planet Jupiter is a diamond crystal bigger than the earth.
Picture # 43
In 1982, I was looking VERY serious in this Bill Disney portrait of me. I am holding my first power stone— a quartz pyramid gifted to me from my crystal teacher DaEl Walker. I commissioned a ruby capstone for the pyramid made out of synthetic pure ruby. This crystal pyramid and I spent a thousand hours together in meditation from 1977 to 1980. The pyramid taught me how to spatially memorize the three dimensional aspects of crystal shapes. I have since memorized the geometry of thousands of crystals. For years, I knew every one of the thousands of crystals I owned. Since then, it has become pretty cluttered in my brain and I have forgotten many of them. The best ones have been memorialized by photography to remind you and me of their beauty.
Since my retirement from the practice of law, you will hardly ever see me in a jacket and tie. Digging, cleaning and moving crystals is hard, dirty and sweaty work.
Do you remember what I mentioned about crystal balls starting fires? The tiny quartz ball on my wrist burned my arm a couple of times in the sunlight.
Picture # 44
Do you believe in the existence of a human energy field known as the aura? Crystals can help you get in touch with previously unknown energies. The stones have been associated with powerful extra-sensory abilities for thousands of years. All early cultures around the globe used magical gems and crystals in their religious or spiritual rituals. Archeologists in Tennessee once found a citrine crystal ball unearthed from the 4000-year-old grave of a shaman. The ball is on display at the Etowah Indian Museum. Legend has it that crystals were also extensively used in the ancient civilizations of Atlantis and Mu (Lemuria).
Picture # 45
Here is my friend Bill Burnside, the man who gave me my very first crystal. He used Austrian glass crystals from Swarovski Company to create crystal light shows back in the 1970' s. He is the Rainbow Master who could spin a thousand perfect rainbows through a room or theater.
Together we created shows for our company Foreign Embassy Productions, which put on performances in San Francisco for several years. I am indebted to Bill for giving me the faceted crystal ball that shocked me into crystal awareness.
Bill is all decked out for our 1979 Halloween party. Over 100 people showed up for the party with live music and crystal theater entertainment. We were not too popular that night with the four nuns who lived in the apartment below us. Well at least the police only showed up once to ask us to lower the music. I guess our seven-foot-tall doorman, with a six-foot-long rifle, scared the cops away.
Picture # 46
That's my friend Super-Steven holding a big smoky scepter. You cannot see it in the photo but the big crystal has zones of bright purple amethyst in it. This is a true one-of-a-kind stone that is now living in a private collection in New York.
Steven, an American, has lived in Brazil for many years where he finds amazing crystals for collectors and healers. His crystals grace temples and sanctuaries all over the planet. He is a man of immaculate taste and judgment, dedicated to sharing the beauty of the stones with thousands of people. Steven has collected and shared with me some of the finest citrine crystals and crystal castles in the world.
Picture # 47
1983 - I think of myself as a serious person, but gee, not this serious! Bill Disney wanted to commemorate the acquisition of this beautiful Arkansas crystal so I dressed up in timeless priestly robes. We were kidding around, but the photo session had some past-life memories associated with religious attire. I guess I would still call my current work a ministry, as it involves teaching people about the healing and transformative powers of stones. I constantly have to remember not to take myself too seriously. Keep it light!
Picture # 48
There are so many views of me I hardly know what to think!
I modified my camera with a special crystal lens to create a mandala of 16 images. Each image is slightly different from one another and they blend as an inter-dimensional portrait. This technique is called “teleidoscope” photography and is similar to using a kaleidoscope. I have also adapted the lens of my video camera, which makes for some pretty zany movies. I enjoy multiplying my photographs of nature scenes, which you will see in detail in a later chapter.
Picture # 49
1978 - This is Scoty B., co-owner of the Enchanted Crystal store in San Francisco. He and his partner Dennis ran the store for 37 years until it closed in 2015. These talented men put together one of the greatest crystal showrooms in California. They have the most magical displays of fine crystals and gifts that I have ever seen. All of the amazing optical crystals that I use in my photography and light shows came from the Enchanted Crystal men. I consider Dennis and Scoty great friends and benefactors who opened my eyes to rainbow beauty.
To purchase Book 2 in the "Crystal Collecting with Crystal Bill" series Crystal Love Story, go to www.ElegantCrystals.com