by Barry Taylor
I have written various articles over the years about the beauty to be found in Quartz Crystals as well as the wonderful magical inclusions that have so captivated my mind, here I revisit a few of my all time favourites together with some new images.
Ghosts, Phantoms and Veils
Sometimes you can see inside a Quartz Crystal the outline of a smaller version or perhaps even several stages of growth outline. Because these are faint outlines of a crystal they are called are called Veils,
some have small mirror like surfaces often reflecting rainbow colours
due to the interaction of light, these surfaces also attract minute particles giving rise to what are aptly named, the Net Curtain or
Wedding Veil effects.
Lodolite, Actinolite, Chlorite and Feldspar
Various minerals can form on pre existing Quartz crystal faces and when it is not possible to identify the mineral that produces the phantom they are referred to as Lodolite. Sometimes these fine inclusions are seen as crystal gardens or landscapes when viewed from above through the crystal. One common mineral that is found growing inside the Quartz crystal is Actinolte, this is actually a group of related minerals and can appear also as delicate fluffy clouds of Byssolite. Another visually stunning group of minerals that can be seen are the Chlorite group of minerals, these occur as green, purple, grey or white veils, commonly also seen coating the selected surfaces of Phantoms often in alternating colours. Another very common mineral group that is found inside quartz are the feldspars, they can be seen exhibiting the distinctive layered structure common to many Feldspars.
Lepidocrosite, Cacoxenite and Rutile
There are several variations of Iron rich inclusions and a beautiful red variety is known as Lepidocrosite, the red can be attached to fine black hairs. Again these can be attracted to the surfaces of Phantom crystals and look magical when cross sections of a quartz crystal are cut. A very beautiful golden mineral seen as clusters of fine golden hair like filaments is the iron rich Cacoxenite, this mineral can also be found as black clusters, often seen in Amethyst. Other beautiful fine hair like crystal rods of a golden, orange or white colour are of the Titanium Rich mineral Rutile.
Pyrite, Marcasite and Limonite
Sometimes cubes of Pyrite or crystal fragments can be found seemingly floating inside a clear Quartz crystal. Fine silvery discs of the related mineral Marcasite can also be seen in some crystals these are often wrongly called Pyrite Suns. Crystals of both Pyrite and Marcasite can be altered to Red, Yellow or Brown limonite due to reaction with water in the circulating formation fluid.
Calcite, Dolomite and Pyrolusite
Well formed crystals of the calcium carbonate mineral Calcite and the Magnesium rich version Dolomite can be found floating inside some Quartz crystals. A very beautiful branching mineral called Pyrolusite, this is a Magnesium rich mineral and it can have a feathery structure, this is called Dendritic habit and can often be seen on the surface of a Limestone layer with a fern like structure, when found in Quartz however the mineral has an amazing three dimensional appearance, it is often accompanied by other secondary minerals like Limonite.
Small specs of Iron rich minerals can occur in some Quartz Crystals, these can be small spheres or flakes often jet black Mica flakes can be seen these mica inclusions can also be of the green Fuschite, a Chromium rich mica or the pink Lepidolite, a lithium rich mica. Other amazing minerals found in Quartz Crystals include the deep green Epidote and the various colours of the Tourmaline group, although
the Black variety called Schorl is the most common, I hope you agree all the above inclusions are magical and beautiful.