Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery


This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
From German "Gwindel", meaning "gewunden" = contorted, twisted, wound.
A variety of Quartz

Quartz crystals that grew along and are slightly rotated around a single a-axis. This results in twisted and tabular crystals. The twist reflects the handedness of the quartz crystals. With increasing distance from the base
- right-handed gwindels twist clockwise.
- left-handed gwindels twist counter-clockwise.
In most gwindels the handedness can easily be determined by the position of the trapezohedral "x"-faces.

Gwindels are found in alpine-type fissures and are always accompanied by macromosaic quartz of normal habit. They are often smoky, rock crystal gwindels are less common.

The structural base of the twist has just recently been discovered: A high number of straight screw dislocations cause a uniform so-called Eshelby twist (Cordier and Heidelbach, 2013; Eshelby, 1953) that is typical for slow growing crystals. This slow growth is in line with the occurrence of gwindels in certain alpine-type fissures.

Because of the often multiple tips and the strong development of sutures on the crystal surface, gwindels are often described as lateral stacks of quartz crystals. This is not correct: each gwindel starts as a single crystal, and only the overgrowth with quartz of a macromosaic structure causes the impression of a composite specimen (Kuzmina et al, 1987; Dolino and Bastie, 2009).

Note: Gwindel-type growth is also known for other minerals.

Classification of Gwindel URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Other Names for Gwindel

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

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

References for Gwindel

Reference List:
Tschermak, G. (1894) Über gewündene Bergkrystalle. Denkschrift der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, 61, 365-400.

Eshelby, J.D. (1953) Screw dislocations in thin rods. Journal of Applied Physics, 24, 176-179.

Kuzmina, M.A., Punin, Y.O, Kamentsev, I.E. (1987) Diagnostic features of the external and internal morphology of the screwed quartz crystals. Proceedings of the Russian Mineralogical Society, 116, 445-453.

Žorž, M. (1994): Pyroelectrically caused twisting of quartz crystals. In Geologija, 35th book, 183-206.

Moore, T. P. (2007): Alpine quartz gwindels. Mineralogical Record, 38, 103-121.

Dolino, G., Bastie, P. (2009) X-ray study of twisted natural quartz (gwindels).
ESRF Report, MA-507, Laboratoire de Spectrometrie Physique, Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble.

Žorž, M. (2009): Quarz-Gwindel. Mineralien-Welt 20 (3), 30-46.

Cordier, P., Heidelbach, F. (2013) Origin of twist in "gwindel" quartz crystals from the Alps: a transmission electron microscopy study. European Journal of Mineralogy, 25, 145-153.

Internet Links for Gwindel

Localities for Gwindel

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 for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? 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.
  • Rhône-Alpes
    • Haute-Savoie
      • Chamonix
        • Mont Blanc Massif (Monte Bianco Massif)
Hède frédéric
Van King
Hède frédéric
  • Hardap Region
    • Rehoboth District
Niedermayr, G. & Schnaitmann, E. A. (2010): Neuigkeiten aus Namiba. Mineralien-Welt 21 (6), 89-96.
  • Bern
    • Hasli Valley
      • Grimsel area
        • Oberaar lake area
          • Oberaar glacier
Teige, B., Willener, A. (1997) Die Gwindelkluft an der Oberaar (BE) oder wenn Strahler strahlen. Schweizer Strahler, 10(11).
  • Grischun (Grisons; Graubünden)
    • Vorderrhein Valley
      • Russein Valley
        • Cavardiras Valley
Photo ID: 432242
      • Tujetsch (Tavetsch)
        • Curnera Valley
Yaiba Sakaguchi
  • Wallis (Valais)
    • Le Trient Valley
Frederic Hede
Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2015, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: October 13, 2015 14:49:31 Page generated: October 12, 2015 16:01:24