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colorless, pale gray-white
6½ - 7
Specific Gravity:
2.6 - 2.65
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 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.

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Physical Properties of QuartzineHide

Vitreous when polished
colorless, pale gray-white
all colors depending on embedded impurities
6½ - 7 on Mohs scale
Conchoidal, Sub-Conchoidal
2.6 - 2.65 g/cm3 (Measured)    
varies with type and amount of impurities

Chemical Properties of QuartzineHide


Synonyms of QuartzineHide

Other Language Names for QuartzineHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Calcite35 photos of Quartzine associated with Calcite on
Quartz26 photos of Quartzine associated with Quartz on
Plumosite26 photos of Quartzine associated with Plumosite on
Pyrite17 photos of Quartzine associated with Pyrite on
Sphalerite17 photos of Quartzine associated with Sphalerite on
Chalcedony16 photos of Quartzine associated with Chalcedony on
Stibnite15 photos of Quartzine associated with Stibnite on
Galena13 photos of Quartzine associated with Galena on
Pyrrhotite12 photos of Quartzine associated with Pyrrhotite on
Sceptre Quartz11 photos of Quartzine associated with Sceptre Quartz on

Other InformationHide

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 QuartzineHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Michel-Lévy, Auguste and Munier-Chalmas, Ernest Charles Philippe Auguste (1892) Comptes Rendus 110, 649.
Michel-Lévy, Auguste and Munier-Chalmas, Ernest Charles Philippe Auguste (1892) Memoire sur diverses formes affectees par le reseau elementaire du quartz. Bulletin de la Société Française de Minéralogie 15, 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 QuartzineHide

Localities for QuartzineHide

This 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.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • Rio Grande do Sul
Amir Akhavan Collection
  • Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén Co.
    • Zemplén Mts (Tokaj Mts)
      • Sárospatak
      • Tállya
  • Béni Mellal-Khénifra Region
    • Khénifra Province
"Amir Akhavan" Collection;
New Zealand
  • North Island
    • Taranaki
  • 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.
  • Castile-La Mancha
    • Guadalajara
Alonso-Zarza, A.M., Sánchez-Moya, Y., Bustyillo, M.A., Sopeña, A., Delgado, A. (2002) Silicification and dolomitization of anhydrite nodules in argillaceous terrestrial deposits: an example of meteoric-dominated diagenesis from the Triassic of central Spain. Sedimentology 49, 303-317.
  • 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.)
  • California
    • San Bernardino Co.
Amir Akhavan Collection
        • Mopah Spring (Mau`upah; Maupah; Mopah Springs)
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