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Quartzine

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Colour:colorless, pale ...Hardness:6½ - 7
Name:Named in 1892 by Auguste Michel-Lévy and Ernest Charles Philippe Auguste Munier-Chalmas for its similarity to quartz, but for its having an opposite optical character. Dana (1899) placed the mineral with lutécine.
A variety of Chalcedony

Quartzine is a fibrous variety of chalcedony. It is also called "length-slow chalcedony" and is usually intergrown with another, more common type of fibrous chalcedony, "length-fast chalcedony", that comprises most of the different varieties of chalcedony. Length-fast chalcedony is more common than quartzine.

Quartzine "fibers" are made of tiny quartz crystals that are stacked along the c-axis (the long axis of the crystals).

It is not possible to identify quartzine with the naked eye, one needs a polarizing microscope to do that (which is also the reason for the odd names "length-slow" and "length-fast chalcedony" that refer to a special optical property of the chalcedony fibers). However, the peculiar patterns seen in some chalcedony specimen, most notably so-called "feather agates", are caused by the intergrowth of quartzine with "ordinary" length-fast chalcedony (see photo).


Quartzine in Polarizing Microscope
Quartzine and length-fast chalcedony give similar extinction patterns in thin sections, in both cases spherulites show a cross-shaped pattern. Although length-fast chalcedony generally looks more fibrous and quartzine more patchy, the safe way to distinguish them is by using a λ-compensator.

The photo to the left shows a small spherulite of length-fast chalcedony that is surrounded by a ring of quartzine, which in turn is embedded in length-fast chalcedony. In spherulitic growth, quartzine shows the yellow color in the upper left and lower right quadrant, rotated by 90 degrees with respect to length-fast chalcedony.

Top: crossed polarizers
Bottom: crossed polarizers with λ-compensator.
Field of view 980µm.



Classification of Quartzine

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Physical Properties of Quartzine

Lustre:Waxy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Translucent
Comment:Vitreous when polished
Colour:colorless, pale gray-white
Comment:all colors depending on embedded impurities
Streak:white/colorless
Hardness (Mohs):6½ - 7
Tenacity:Brittle
Fracture:Conchoidal, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):2.6 - 2.65 g/cm3
Comment:varies with type and amount of impurities

Other Names for Quartzine

Synonyms:
Length-slow chalcedony
Other Languages:

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Quartzine

Reference List:

- +
Michel-Lévy, Auguste and Munier-Chalmas, Ernest Charles Philippe Auguste (1892) Comptes Rendus, v. 110, p. 649.
Michel-Lévy, Auguste and Munier-Chalmas, Ernest Charles Philippe Auguste (1892) Memoire sur diverses formes affectees par le reseau elementaire du quartz, Bulletin Sociétie Minéralogie, v. 15, p 159-190 + 4 plates.
Keene, J. B. (1983) Chalcedonic quartz and occurrence of quartzine (length-slow chalcedony) in pelagic sediments. Sedimentology, 30: 449-454.
Flörke, O. W., Graetsch, H., Martin, B., Röller, K., Wirth, R. (1991) Nomenclature of micro- and non-crystalline silica minerals based on structure and microstructure. Neues Jahrbuch der Mineralogie Abhandlungen, 163: 19-42.
Graetsch, H. (1994) Structural characteristics of opaline and microcrystalline silica minerals. Reviews in Mineralogy, Vol.29, Silica - Physical behavior, geochemistry and materials applications. Xu, H., Buseck, P. R., Luo, G. (1998) HRTEM investigation of microstructure in length-slow chalcedony. American Mineralogist, 83: 542-545.

Internet Links for Quartzine

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  • Localities for Quartzine

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
    (TL) indicates type locality. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
    Brazil
     
    • Rio Grande do Sul
    Amir Akhavan Collection
    Bulgaria
     
    www.clmc.bas.bg/Annreps/ANNREP8/annrep8.htm.
    Hungary
     
    • Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén Co.
      • Zemplén Mtns (Tokaj Mtns)
        • Sárospatak
        • Tállya
    Morocco
     
    • Meknès-Tafilalet Region
      • Khénifra Province
    "Amir Akhavan" Collection;
    New Zealand
     
    • North Island
      • Taranaki
    www.med.govt.nz/crown_minerals/petroleum/docs/nzpconf-2002/50hood.pdf.
    Russia
     
    • Central Region
      • Moscow Oblast' (Moskovskaya Oblast')
        • Moscow
    Pekin, A. (2011) Minerals of Moscow. Russian Journal of General Chemistry. Jun2011, Vol. 81 Issue 6, p1381-1391.
    Ukraine
     
    • Crimea Oblast'
      • Crimea peninsula
        • Kerch peninsula (Kertch peninsula)
          • Opuk Mountain area
    - Dvoichenko P.A. The minerals of Crimea (1914) - Zapiski Krymskogo obshchestva estestvoispytatelei (Proceeding of the Crimea Society of Naturalistes), 1914, vol. 4, p. 1-208 (Rus.) - Popov S.P. Mineralogy of the Crimea (1938). - M.-L., AN SSSR, 1938, 352 p. (Rus.)
    USA
     
    • California
      • San Bernardino Co.
    Amir Akhavan Collection
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    Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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