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Zektzerite

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Zektzerite
May 24, 2009 07:59PM
Click here to view Best Minerals Z and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.



Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

Below are some preliminary notes I have made about Zektzerite. This entry and thread has been made as a place holder for information that you will hopefully contribute about Zektzerite. It should be in no way be thought of as a claim I have staked out to write about this mineral, and in fact is an invitation for someone to step forward and create the article about this mineral. If you are so inclined and have questions about the format that such an article should have, go the The welcome topic at the top of the Best Minerals forum and read what has been posted there. Also take a look at some of the more mature articles that have already been written like Rhodochrosite, Adamite, Millerite etc. You will need also to pick out other images of Ardealite that will go into the article.


Zektzerite
LiNa(Zr,Ti,Hf)Si6O15 Orthorhombic

Zektzerite, Washington Pass, Washington, USA 1.3cm crystal© C. Stefano '10

Of the three localities listed on Mindat, the type locality at Washington Pass has produced by far the best specimens. Crystals up to 3.7 cm are known.


Zektzerite
USA
Washingon, Okanogan Co., Golden Horn Batholith, Washington Pass

Zektzerite & Microcline 2.1cm tall© Jeff Scovil
Zektzerite 1.5cm wide© D. Richerson

The specimens from this locality are frequently through not always pink in color. They are almost all take the form of short pseudohexagonal prisms and isolated on matrix. Some specimens have crystals of more than 3cm though most of the better specimens have smaller crystals. There were never all that many specimens produced and they were never cheap because to get them you had to hike around the Golden Horn Batholith, not the easiest of tasks, trying to find boulders with exposed miarolitic cavities that still had a crystal of two of Zektzerite in them. These cavities are not common, and only a few of those found had Zektzerite in them. Many cavities were also pretty well ravaged by weathering and when you found one more or less intact with Zektzerite in them, you still faced the daunting task of trying to remove the specimens intact. Because of the effort required to find a good specimen, sometimes several trips to the locality were required, those who had them never easily parted with them.

The story of how the mineral got its name is interesting. One of the guys who collected the original specimens was Jack Zektzer. When first found (79?) they were thought to be possibly beryl or apatite, but within a couple of weeks Jack Zektzer sent some to Pete Dunn at the Smithsonian. To everyone's surprise here was a megascopic new mineral.





Click here to view Best Minerals Z and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2010 09:15PM by Rock Currier.
Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 09:46AM
Rock,
I was one of Jack's collecting partners in the late 70's and early 80's. Bart Cannon found the first small Zektzerites in Willow Basin while looking for reported smoky quartz. He thought they might be Beryl and did not persue it. Jack was collecting with his roommate in a chute on the west side of Kangaroo Ridge when the type find was made. The type Zektzerites came from a very large float boulder in the chute. I have been to the boulder with Jack before it was later drilled and blown apart. There were three specimens collected of very large crystals that were obviously not Beryl. Jack sent them to the Smithsonian who described them as a new mineral. The story I heard at the time was that Jack had suggested Pigletite as the name after a cat he owned named Piglet. Jack later denied all storys so who knows. The Smithsonian ended up with one specimen in repository. Jack later traded a second to Ed Swaboda for a very fine large cabinet schleelite from Korea in a deal brokered by Bart. The final specimen was recently acquired by Marcus Origlieri from Jack in 2009. Bart Cannon later went on to find a very rich collecting area and sold a large precentage of the specimens in collectors' hands today.
John
Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 10:22AM
I should add for the history that a large number of specimens on the market came for two pockets that I discovered.The first containing about 100 or more specimens was found in 1983 in "the rockslide" and was traded in small batches at Tucson '84 to a number of dealers. I have seen several specimens in competition displays since. They were distinctive in that I misspelled the county name Okanoganite on my labels. The second was found in Early Winters Creek below Willow Basin in 2008. A couple hundred specimens were collected. The best went to my friends, but Lehigh Minerals sold a large batch that was written up in "What's new in Minerals" in the Record. Another recent pocket of note was collected by my wife Kristin Lindell. The Zektzerites were included with Astrophyllite. Saul Krotki has posted pictures on Mindat.
avatar Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 08:14PM
John,
Those are interesting comments about Zektzerite and I will work them into the text. Do you have some images of some of the better Zektzerite specimens you can upload to Mindat? We are woefully short of good Zektzerite images and I would like to add several more to the article. Is there a mineral species that you think you could write up for Best Minerals?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 08:58PM
    
Rock,

How about this shot?

© C. Stefano '10
avatar Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 08:59PM
    
This specimen is superb as well

© Jeff Scovil
avatar Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 09:17PM
Chris,
Yes, I think this is the best specimen that has been so far uploaded to mindat and I have placed it in the article as the lead image at least till we can get a better picture. It is a little dark but it is better than what we had. You should add the type of feldspar that the Zektzerite is sitting on and specify also the over all size of the specimen. We can still use about a half dozen more good images of other Zektzerite specimens of different kinds for the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2010 09:19PM by Rock Currier.
Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 10:27PM
Here are a couple poor photos of Zektzerites from "The Rockslide", nr Washington Pass, Okanogan Co., Wa. collected 6/4/83 by John Lindell. Both are slightly over 3cm.
Attachments:
open | download - jl436a.jpg (264 KB)
open | download - jl437a.jpg (305.5 KB)
Re: Zektzerite
December 24, 2010 10:42PM
Here's a group hug shot of some of the best Zektzerites from Early Winters Creek, nr Washington Pass, Okanogan Co., Washington collected 8/23/08 by John Lindell.
Attachments:
open | download - DSCN5437.JPG (935.6 KB)
avatar Re: Zektzerite
December 25, 2010 04:32AM
John,
Not great photos, but the quality of the specimens show make them good enough. Now just upload them to the mindat gallery and Ill put them in the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Zektzerite
November 14, 2012 06:08PM
To Rock Currier,
Has your article on Zektzerite been completed? Would like to see a copy if complete. thanks.
ed@fogmountaingems.com
avatar Re: Zektzerite
November 14, 2012 08:41PM
    
Rock,

Here is one for your gallery. Photo ID: 497508. It is no longer in my collection.
Attachments:
open | download - Zektzerite.jpg (93 KB)
avatar Re: Zektzerite
November 15, 2012 07:23AM
Ron, Thanks, I need to update the article when I can find the time and your image is a good candidate.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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