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  • Writer's pictureIzzy

Quartz Inclusions - What are they?

This morning I was getting lost looking into the miniature worlds that fill some of my Included quartz points. I have a soft spot for keeping them in my collection thanks to the complete uniqueness of each stone. Attempting to identify all of the types of inclusions in some of my more heavily included crystals (pictured below) had me completely stumped as to what some of them are, and how they got there.

There are a myriad of minerals that could have formed before the quartz did and were trapped during the quartz growth later on. And there are others that grow in the fissures or on the faces of a quartz, appearing as though they had grown together and been there all along.

Hematite and Chlorite Included Quartz points from Brazil
Included Quartz on the beach - Chloride, Iron Oxide, Hematite, and more!

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert after one morning study, and I will definitely be returning to this topic to gain a deeper understanding of the endless combinations of included quartz. Until then, below is a resource list for some of the reading I found helpful in identifying what is trapped inside my own stones.

"There are basically three ways inclusions can "get into the crystal":

The minerals have formed before the quartz.

The growing quartz crystals engulfs them and the original form of the included minerals is preserved. These inclusions are called protogenetic. Included fibers than run through the entire crystal at random orientations are typical examples.

Quartz crystals and the included minerals grow simultaneously.

These inclusions are called syngenetic. The shape of the included minerals often deviates from the typical forms and habits that develop during unhindered growth. Crystals may be distorted beyond recognition and a non-destructive identification may pose a real problem even for a mineralogist.

Sometimes inclusions cause the formation of phantoms.

Here the quartz crystal might have been partially encrusted by another mineral when growth halted transiently and continued later, such a case could be considered a syngenetical formation that got overgrown.

Minerals can get into another mineral by exsolution.

When the conditions during crystal growth allowed the incorporation of elements into the crystal lattice that are incompatible with the crystal structure at different temperatures or pressures, these elements may separate from the lattice to form new minerals once the conditions change. Such inclusions are called epigenetic. Very often these inclusions are specifically oriented with respect to the crystallographic axes of the main crystal. The best example of a quartz with epigenetic inclusions is rose quartz."

^^ Above excerpt taken from The Quartz Page which is one of the best resources online for learning about Quartz and its various forms. Read more here

To identify Types of inclusions in your crystals:

For posting your stone to have others help identify it (Or to compare to other stones):

International Gem Society taking about identifying inclusions as opposed to bubbles to determine real Gems from Glass.

Make a Cuppa, read some gem articles and enjoy the magic of Nature!

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