I have heard a dozen stories about Ema Eggs. The internet is full of falsehoods, as we all know. A little digging helped me to get to the bottom of the Ema Egg saga. No one died in the making of these Eggs.
The Ema Eggs aka Seer Stones aka “Buttons” aka Window Stones we see today are NO LONGER a natural occurrence. Instead, they are processed—tumbled, then hand cut and polished.
When these “eggs” first were “hatched” they were, in fact, a natural occurrence. A dozen or more years ago they were known as “ovo de ema” quartz, meaning ‘eggs of the river’. Ema is also the Brazilian ostrich (Rhea Americana) and many thought they resembled an ostrich egg.
Originally these natural river tumbled quartz were taken to a lapidarist who sliced and polished the face (hence the “window”). After years of popularity, the river ran out of them. Some enterprising individuals copied the idea and added other stones to the mix.
So how are Ema Eggs created these days?
Think of a big cement tumbler like on the back of a cement truck. A load of rough quartz is thrown in to a large container. It turns, tumbles, nicks and dings the entire load, and recreates the white outer “frost”.
The large rough tumbles are then cut in half. The face is polished to a shiny finish (again, hence, the “window”).
These days, you can get them in almost anything from Polychrome Jasper to Green Opal to Hematoid Quartz to Labradorite. In addition, the most popular quartz varieties (Clear, Rose, Smoky, Amethyst).
A big “Thanks” to my mindat.org friends who helped me to toss out all of the incorrect internet information and get down to the facts.