In 1971 Alex Amess, aiming to create the world's largest hand-cut stone, selected a 14-kilogram crystal, 25 centimetres high clear quartz crystal from the Crystal King Mine near Tallangalook in the Strathbogie Ranges of Victoria to work on. Setting all the facet angles by eye rather than machine was painstaking work, with the cutting and polishing taking 200 hours over three and a half months. "The Crystal King", as the stone is known, has become an icon and inspiration to Australian gem cutters and lapidaries, although it is no longer the world's largest hand-cut stone.
The cut crystal weighs 8510 carats (1.7 kg), measures 19 x 11 x 6 cm and has 196 facets. A flaw in the middle of the original stone led to it's being cut as an oval rather than a round. During cutting, over 1400 carats were removed.