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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Quartz with sphalerite inclusions

Quartz with sphalerite inclusions
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G11585-00
Locality Goias, Brazil
Weight 14.31 ct

It is common to find inclusions in quartz crystals. Quartz is usually one of the last minerals to form in a deposit, so it sometimes grows around existing crystals. Because quartz is commonly clear, the inclusions are easy to see. This emerald-cut quartz from Brazil has brownish-orange sphalerite crystal inclusions. In this specimen, the spalerite inclusions appear to be floating in the clear quartz gem. Sphalerite is a zinc sulfide, an ore of zinc.This 14.31ct gem is the first quartz gemstone with sphalerite inclusions in the National Gem Collection.



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