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Unknown on smoky quartz

Posted by todd Van Duren  
todd Van Duren September 20, 2018 11:17PM
I received this specimen today. No locality, (waiting for a reply from the sender). Yellow mineral was labeled as calcite but it is clearly not. Hardness is ~3.5. No clear indication of cleavage from those crystals that are broken; perhaps indistinct at best. No fluorescence.

My first thought was adamite based on crystal morphology, but the association seems wrong. Second guess is perhaps stilbite. The luster is certainly suggestive of stilbite or heulandite.

The quartz itself is rather distinctive. Primary quartz crystal has been partially covered by a thin layer of a greenish-white material, which has partially healed over with another layer of quartz. The yellow unknown appears to have formed after the final layer of quartz and grows on top of both the healed quartz and the greenish-white material.

Any thoughts on ID or locality would be much appreciated.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2018 12:52AM by todd Van Duren.
Russ Rizzo September 20, 2018 11:46PM
Hi Todd,

The larger crystals are stilbite. I'm not sure about the greenish-white material. Getting the location for the specimen will be helpful.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2018 11:48PM by Russ Rizzo.
todd Van Duren September 20, 2018 11:54PM
> Getting the
> location for the specimen will be helpful.

No suggestions? Mindat searches are drawing a blank.
Ian Nicastro September 21, 2018 12:03AM
I've found stilbite with smoky quartz in several pegmatite deposits in southern california, but the stilbite is bone white and small usually. Searching mindat I found a location in poland that has yielded smoky quartz with yellowish stilbite: https://www.mindat.org/photo-662808.html
Russ Rizzo September 21, 2018 12:28AM
Poland would be one of my top guesses as well. It could also be from China. About 9-10 years ago I had a few smokies from China that had yellow stilbite associated with them.
todd Van Duren September 21, 2018 12:51AM
The specimen did come from a Chinese dealer, so China seems likely. Unfortunately a search of Stilbite photos, keyword 'quartz' and Quartz photos, keyword 'stilbite' did generate anything comparable from China.
Russ Rizzo September 21, 2018 01:03AM
The specimens that I mentioned previously could've had stellerite on them and not stilbite. I can't find anything in my records that tells me where in China they where from. It was a long time ago and I only had them for a short time. I do remember that my specimens also had opal-AN and epidote/clinozoisite associated with them.

Edit: Memory can be poor sometimes... it was chabazite & laumontite.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2018 08:45AM by Russ Rizzo.
Kevin Conroy September 21, 2018 01:22AM
Wouldn't it be interesting if the white crystals were bertrandite?
todd Van Duren September 21, 2018 01:36AM
Kevin Conroy Wrote:
> Wouldn't it be interesting if the white crystals
> were bertrandite?

Are you referring to the fine acicular crystals? I assumed natrolite or some other zeolite, >if< the yellow mineral is indeed stilbite (sp).
I have yet to look at the specimen under anything but 10x.
Kevin Conroy September 21, 2018 01:57AM
Yes, I did mean the microscopic acicular crystals.
Johan Kjellman September 21, 2018 10:19AM
possibly Strzegom/Striegau, Poland
Uwe Kolitsch September 21, 2018 02:10PM
todd Van Duren September 21, 2018 03:38PM
OK, the locality has been given to me as Tibet Autonomous Region. Certainly a poorly documented area for sure.

I must say the photos of Strzegom material does look very similar. The morphology of the quartz, the color of the stilbite, the assemblages. I'd be more likely to believe Strzegom than 'Tibet', despite the fact the specimen came from a Chinese dealer.
todd Van Duren September 21, 2018 03:47PM
If Strzegom is correct, the white acicular mineral could possibly be bavenite.
A. Mathauser September 21, 2018 04:33PM
If it's from Strzegom, the dark green (almost black) mineral would be strigovite (a kind of chlorite group mineral; the name is from Strzegom - Latin name "Stregovia", German "Striegau", where was it discovered), and yes - the white mineral would be bavenite, as Todd said.
V. Stingl September 22, 2018 05:25AM
Why should a Chinese dealer sell pieces from Strzegom, when he can get same or better quality much cheaper? My guess is one of the quarries around Rhizao, Shandong.
todd Van Duren September 22, 2018 02:37PM
Why do Chinese dealers sell Moroccan vanadinite and Congolese malachite? Why do US dealers sell Chinese Fluorite? Why do we all put pepper on our food?

We do live in a global economy and things do have a tendency to filter around.

This piece in particular appears to have been a one-off in the dealer's offerings. One can imagine myriad ways a singular curious but generally ugly specimen might migrate from hand to hand around the planet. Pity minerals don't come with passports.

Considering the morphology of the quartz and the general assemblage of the piece, I still think Strzegom is a more likely source.

At the very least it has been a fun little puzzle for $2.25US.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2018 09:23PM by todd Van Duren.
Russ Rizzo September 22, 2018 11:41PM

I don't think your specimen is from Poland. I believe it is from China.

Click on this link & this link


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2018 11:42PM by Russ Rizzo.
Kevin Conroy September 23, 2018 12:24AM
I'm not 100% convinced that the yellow crystals are stilbite. They very well could be, but to me the color and shape are a bit off. Todd, how accurate is the color in the photos? What if they're mimetite? The reason I ask is because this reminds me of some specimens that I saw (I think from a find in the 1980's or 1990's) from Kara-Oba. This specimen should probably be analyzed to help sort things out.
Russ Rizzo September 23, 2018 01:00AM
The crystals on Todd's specimen are the same as on the specimens that passed through my hands. The crystals are either stilbite or stellerite. My id was good enough for Michael Wise to purchase one.
todd Van Duren September 23, 2018 04:47AM
The color in the photo is very accurate in comparison to the actual piece. Perhaps a little over saturated, but the color is exact. Think cantaloupe orange.

I really don't think it's mimetite. The cross-section is distinctly orthorhombic or tetragonal; there is absolutely no suggestion of hexagonal symmetry.

Russ, thanks for the link. Pity the mindat page for Tongbei is not more fleshed out. Pity too the images on Chino Neolithic page aren't a bit sharper
and color balanced. Is this your page? If you have handled these specimens, what would you make of the accessory minerals on my piece? What is
the acicular mineral on this piece: http://www.chinaneolithic.com/en/stores/view.asp?id=610

Yes, it would be great to have this piece analyzed. Unfortunately I don't have direct access to anything more than mineralogy texts, a loupe, experience
and a few chemicals. It will have to go into the 'to have analyzed' pile along with a few other things that need identification, (uranium unknowns from
the Congo, etc.)
Russ Rizzo September 23, 2018 05:16AM
Hi Todd,

I have no affiliation with China Neolithic. I just did a quick internet search and they were the first of many that came up.

Tongbei doesn't ring a bell as far as the location. My memory tells me that it was Chenzou, but I'm not certain that is where mine were from. And I wouldn't be 100% sure about your specimen or others on the internet. I've been fed a lot of misinformation over the years from Chinese dealers. Afghani & Pakistani too. Mostly,I think, to misdirect others who might also want to exploit what has been found.

The 2 specimens that I had were only in my possession about a week or so at Tucson in 2009 or 2010.

My guess on your white acicular crystals, and only a guess, are that they are laumontite. If you can remove a few of the crystals from a spot on your specimen that won't be noticed, you can test for laumontite by trying to dissolve it in a small amount of HCL. If it is laumontite it will form a gel.

Kevin Conroy September 23, 2018 06:46PM
Todd, thanks for the verification of the color and the additional info about the crystal shape. I'm comfortable now with the stilbite/stellerite ID.

Russ, I was just trying to get a bit more data on the crystals. Sometimes it's hard remembering past finds/crystals when they're not from larger documented finds. I also think you're right on about the white crystals being laumontite.
todd Van Duren September 24, 2018 12:35AM
Tongbei was listed for those specimens I thought looked most similar. When I say similar, I mean similar looking stilbite. The assemblages look decidedly different, but it really is hard to tell because the resolution is so low.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2018 12:37AM by todd Van Duren.
Russ Rizzo September 25, 2018 08:48AM
Kevin Conroy Wrote:

...Sometimes it's hard remembering
> past finds/crystals when they're not from larger
> documented finds.

Sometimes its hard enough just remembering and it ain't getting any easier with age.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/25/2018 08:50AM by Russ Rizzo.
Russ Rizzo November 20, 2018 12:58AM

Found a picture of one of the specimens that passed through my hands.

It turns out that Chenzhou is the correct locality for these specimens. Wish I had a more accurate locality than that. But it is better than nothing at all.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2018 08:37AM by Russ Rizzo.
Eligiusz Szełęg February 11, 2019 01:21PM
Your samle looks like Strzegom smoky quartz with stilbite-(Ca) and laumontite
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