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Metallic columnar inclusions in Zagi Quartz with Astrophyllite

Posted by Yuki Kano  
Yuki Kano June 15, 2012 09:55AM
Please help in identification of metallic silver-colored columnar inclusions in quartz from Zagi mountains, Pakistan.
This quartz seems to also includes astrophyllite & aegirine.
The width of this specimen is about 10 cm. So the unknown inclusions are very small.
Please examine the following pictures & microscope images and give me any advices.
I really need your help. Thank you very much.
Ronald John Gyllenhammer June 15, 2012 04:23PM
Hi Yuki,

I don't know for sure but they seem to share a similar morpholgy that suggests to me that they may be hexagonal and if so could be some Apatite group species. So my wild guess would be Apatite and if not, possibly some other hexagonal species like a Bastnäsite group but consider it a bit less likely.

Also, you said, "This quartz seems to also includes astrophyllite & aegirine."

I could agree with Astrophyllite but are you sure of Aegirine? Perhaps it could be Riebeckite rather than Aegirine. Just a thought. Good luck with it Yuki.


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open | download - untitled_adapted_2.bmp.jpg (15.2 KB)
John Magnasco June 15, 2012 06:22PM
Those are crazy! It looks like miniature aluminum rod stock embedded in the quartz. Absolutlety no idea what it could be, but fascinating morphology.

Cheers from NorCal, John

"God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent." - Einstein
Rob Woodside June 15, 2012 06:45PM
Are the disc and rod hollow?
Alfredo Petrov June 16, 2012 02:17AM
Several years ago, some (almost) perfectly cylindrical inclusions in quartz crystals from Sichuan showed up in a Chinese dealer's booth in Munich. Most surprisingly they turned out on x-ray analysis to be graphite. I've no idea how graphite formed that shape.

Kano-san, you will probably have to cut open one of your crystals to see whether this is the same situation. The silvery metallic colour can be rather misleading, a boundary or separation effect at the contact between the quartz and the inclusion, so that should not be considered in guessing the identification.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2012 02:19AM by Alfredo Petrov.
Yuki Kano June 16, 2012 08:25AM
Hi Ron.
Indeed the possibility of hexagonal species like Apatite or Bastnasite cannot be denied as you say.
Thank you so much for your helpful suggestion.
Unfortunately the inclusions in this piece are too small to figure out even their shape with accuracy...

And thank you for your sharp perception about Aegirine.
Actually I'm suspicious about it too.
Some dealers describe these black rutile inclusions & black incrustations on the surface
as Aegirine (please take a look at the pictures below) though most people say they are all Riebeckite.
Now I'm almost confused about discerning Riebeckite from Aegirine in Zagi Quartz.
I also really appreciate any further suggestive advices about this problem.
Thank you Ron.

Hi John.
I don't know how to describe them better than with your excellent passage.
I can't believe my eyes yet.
Cheers, John! Thank you.

Hi Rob.
I've examined the possibility, but it's a bit less likely. They reflect light.
Please let me know if you have any ideas.
Thank you Rob.

Hi Heath
What kind of fossils are they? I appreciate your further suggestions.
Thank you Heath.

Hi Jose.
Which kingdom do you think is better suit for them?
Any suggestions will be welcomed.
Thank you Jose.

Hi Alfredo
I wanted to see that cylindrical graphite in quartz. That sounds very interesting.
And I think this can be a clue.
As you pointed out, it seems hard to identify them without bringing them out and doing precise analysis.
I'll take your advice about their misleading apparent color very much to heart.
Thank you Petrov-san!

Hi Barry
I'll try to take more photos and post them later.
I appreciate your any assist.
Thank you Barry.

Thank you so much everyone. I'm very pleased by all of your kind comments & helpful advices.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Olav Revheim June 16, 2012 02:09PM
Hi Yuki,

Thank you for shating these really exciting photos. Unfortunately, I cannot offer any help in answering your questions, other than sharing the address of the Pakistani National Centre of Excellence at the University of Peshawar. See link: . Their web page is somewhat unstable, but it appears as an outstanding centre based on their scientific publications.

Maybe the scientists there also take interest in your fascinating spesimen.

Good luck and best regards

Yuki Kano June 17, 2012 01:42PM
Hi Olav,
Thank you for sharing helpful resource.
I'll check the web page regularly.
Thank you so much Olav.

I took some microscope photos in addition.
Some cylindrical inclusions stick out from the surface.

And I found something like a ring near the cylinders.
Now my head is filled with questions...
What are they?
Does Astrophyllite make such ring shape?
Are they different minerals from the cylinders?
Are the cylinders hollow too?
I'll welcome any comments & advices.
I'm very sorry to be unable to take photos clearly.
Thank you in advance.
Alfredo Petrov June 17, 2012 02:44PM
Mineral rings are not so rare, but usually so small that collectors overlook them. One of the earliest issues of Mineralogical Record had an article about this:

BIDEAUX, R.A. (1970b) Mineral rings and cylinders. Mineralogical Record, 1 (3), 105-112.

Several different mineral species can make rings, but I think rutile is the most common.
Pavel Kartashov June 17, 2012 10:48PM
I had analyzed astrophyllite from Zagi. It was turned out quite low Mn usual astrophyllite, but mine was included into fluorite, not in quartz.
José Zendrera June 17, 2012 11:07PM
These cylinders do not exist in my world, I have not microscope. But I found some information that perhaps will be useful:

Zagi Mts., Hameed Abad Kafoor Dheri, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North-West Frontier Province), Pakistan
5 x 4 x 3 cm
With my X10 loupe I can see many astrophyllite hairs but not rings nor cylinders.

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Yuki Kano June 18, 2012 01:52PM
Hi Alfredo.
I didn't know about mineral rings and cylinders.
Those inclusions must be caused by this same phenomenon.
I'll check the article.
Thank you so much Alfredo. You've been very helpful.

Hi Pavel.
Thank you for sharing your precious analysis.
Astrophyllite in fluorite.. It's amazing.
I wish I could see it.
Thank you Pavel.

Hi Jose.
Thank you for telling me very useful information.
Those inclusions in topaz have a huge similarity to mine.
I'll check a detail on this phenomenon.
And thank you for showing me and checking your Zagi quartz.
I really appreciate your kindness.
If you find something new, please let me know.
Thank you Jose.
José Zendrera June 27, 2012 12:29AM
I can not provide any explanation for this but after spend some time with a x10 loupe looking for ring / cylinder inclusions in my specimens, finally I found something like in a Mexican topaz:

Not easy to see the thin ring in the center of the photo, little bit to right. Sorry I have no microscope.
Ring size about 0,3 mm.
FOV: 12 mm.

This one is smaller but more defined.
Ring size about 0,1 mm.
FOV: 10 mm.

Courtesy of Yuki, I added this issue to my thread about "special" properties of the minerals in FMF:


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2012 09:10PM by Jose Zendrera.
open | download - Tring1.JPG (261.2 KB)
open | download - Tring2.JPG (357.9 KB)
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