A deep red parrallel-growth zircon crystal perched on matrix. The crystal measures 1.5 cm. It is in excellent condition – there is no damage. The crystal grew at the same time as the surrounding minerals, so at the terminations it exhibits some rounding, rather than sharp pyramids. Fluoresces yellow under short-wave ultraviolet light, as shown in the last photo. Stands perfectly for display as photographed. The red colour of this zircon crystal really stands out.
There is actually a beautiful, sharp, gemmy little red zircon crystal on the back of this specimen.
This piece has been reinforced, to keep the micaceous matrix at the top of the specimen from flaking.
About these Zircon Specimens
These zircons are from a relatively large new find of zircons from Astor Valley, in Pakistan. A locality that has sporadically produced moderate amounts of material in recent years, this recent find produced a large number of pieces. However, fine zircons are proportionally very few. There are two key reasons for this. First, the zircons are enclosed within solid rock with other hard constituent minerals, such that a good number of zircons were broken when they were collected. However, the second reason is the much more prevalent issue based on the material I’ve seen: the zircon crystals seem to have formed more or less contemporaneously with most of the other minerals in the deposit – feldspar, biotite mica, and pyroxene – and as a result, most of the zircon crystals are not fully developed. Instead, most zircon crystal growth was interrupted by the growth of these other minerals, and therefore most zircons are simply incomplete, or malformed. And yet, among well over 1000 pieces I went through from this find, there were a few excellent specimens.